Imperial Concubine Yun’s Secret Exposed
On the East side of the imperial palace, there was a Cun Shan Palace on a road not far from the central palace. It was where imperial concubine Shu, Yuan shi, resided.
This Yuan shi entered the palace at the age of 16. At the age of 19, she gave birth to the eighth prince, Xuan Tian Mo. Now, the eighth prince was 23 years of age. He was born around the same time as the 24-year-old seventh prince and 22-year-old ninth prince. Although she was no longer favored after imperial concubine Yun entered the imperial palace, all of the imperial concubines that had given birth to princes enjoyed great lives.
On this night, after drinking something to help calm her down, the servant that was taking care of her, Yue Xiu, sweetly said: “Imperial concubine’s preservation is really good and you look like you are in your early 20s. If you stood at his Highness the eight prince’s side, perhaps people might think that you are siblings.”
Imperial concubine Yuan Shu glared at her, “Nonsense, if that was really the case, wouldn’t I become a weird monster.” But her heart was filled with joy. She spent her days using top-quality supplements, so her complexion would naturally be better than the average person; however, she would not appear to be quite that young. “What a pity!” She let out a long sigh, “What’s the point of having an even better complexion? So what if I appear young? Ever since that slut entered the palace, his Majesty never visited another imperial concubine’s palace. Let’s not even mention going to Zhao He Hall. But that Pian Pian’s personality does not allow him to see her. It really is retribution.”
Yue Xiu quickly consoled her out of fright, “Imperial concubine, you must not say such a thing. The walls have ears.”
Imperial concubine Yuan Shu also knew that imperial concubine Yun was a taboo subject in the palace. After muttering this, she shut her mouth. She just thought about the eighth prince that Yue Xiu had just mentioned and could not help but begin to worry: “Really, the imperial family’s children all get married late. It’s almost becoming like a devil’s curse. The eighth prince is 23 years of age this year, and he still hasn’t spoken about marriage yet. He is always away and does not come back. He really does cause this One to feel worried.”
“Imperial concubine, be a little more at ease. His Highness the eighth prince is sharing a burden with the Emperor. For a son to be stationed all over is a good thing. Also, wasn’t it said that he can return to the capital for the new year?”
Upon hearing that her son would be returning, imperial concubine Yuan Shu’s mood finally improved. At this time, a lame eunuch entered. His steps were a bit urgent and nearly tripped when stepping over the door sill.
Yue Xiu furrowed her brow and said: “Rong Zhen, why are you becoming more and more rash?”
The eunuch’s name was Rong Zhen. At this moment, he arrived before imperial concubine Yuan Shu and bowed, urgently saying: “Imperial concubine, this servant heard some important matters.”
Imperial concubine Yuan Shu looked at Rong Zhen for a while then waved to Yue Xiu. Yue Xiu immediately understood what she intended and quickly went to the door to look around. She then closed the doors tight.
When she returned, she heard Rong Zhen saying to imperial concubine Yuan Shu: “This servant just heard some strange news that is related to Winter Moon Palace.
Hearing that it was related to Winter Moon Palace, imperial concubine Yuan Shu and Yue Xiu’s ears perked up. Rong Zhen continued to say: “The first oddity is that the guards that patrol near Winter Moon Palace say that imperial concubine Yun quite enjoys hearing about strange stories. She would frequently have someone from the Board of Astronomy go and tell her some stories. But in the past half a year, the people from the Board of Astronomy have not gone.”
“Aside from this, there is something else that’s weird. In the past, there would be some sort of sound coming from Winter Moon Palace. Whether that be the zither or some songs, imperial concubine Yun’s personality is quite eccentric. It’s hard to know just what sort of new thing she could do. Although Winter Moon Palace’s doors are closed and not receiving guests, the rooms are blowing out their candles very early without the slightest bit of sound.”
“Aside from these three oddities, imperial concubine Yun likes eating fruit, and the best fruit in the palace have always been sent to Winter Moon Palace to be eaten. But the fruits that she eats would never get be bitten too close to the core. She finds that to be too sour. She just nibbles on the sweetest parts to the outside before throwing them away; however, this servant heard the servants of the waste disposal unit say that over the past half a year, the fruits thrown out by the people in Winter Moon Palace have all been eaten cleanly. Even the cores of pears could be seen, with the sourest parts being eaten. No matter how they looked at them, they did not appear to have been eaten by imperial concubine Yun.”
“The final strange thing is on the day that his Highness the ninth prince and imperial daughter Ji An returned to the capital, after they ate dinner with the Emperor, the two were headed in the direction of Winter Moon Palace. At first, the two had not been in the capital for many months. Going to see imperial concubine Yun would be the most normal thing possible, but the two walked part way before being stopped by Zhang Yuan. Who knows what was said, but his Highness the ninth prince brought imperial daughter Ji An out of the palace. After that, they haven’t gone back to Winter Moon Palace.”
Rong Zhen rattled off four things that were strange about Winter Moon Palace in a single breath; however, this left imperial concubine Yuan Shu and Yue Xiu to stare wide-eyed. The women that were able to remain in the palace as imperial concubines were very sharp. A maidservant that was able to take care of an imperial concubine for many years was not raised for nothing. The two thought quickly and immediately understood the problem at hand.
Yue Xiu was the first to speak, saying plainly: “The people from the Board of Astronomy not going to visit is not strange. Imperial concubine Yun’s personality is prone to changes. It’s possible that she no longer enjoys listening to them. But if there aren’t even sounds of music and songs, it’s a little unusual.”
Imperial concubine Yuan Shu continued that train of thought: “No longer listening to stories and things no longer being lively can be easily explained, but the eating of fruits makes things a little off. Not to mention imperial concubine Yun, even this One never eats too close to the core. Who doesn’t know that it’s sour? For the fruits thrown out by Winter Moon Palace to suddenly change in appearance, that can only mean that they were not eaten by imperial concubine Yun.”
She thought a bit more then added: “It’s impossible that his Highness the ninth prince and imperial daughter Ji An would leave the capital for a year then not visit imperial concubine Yun…”
“Unless imperial concubine Yun isn’t in the palace.” Yue Xiu highlighted the situation. Put plainly, even she was given a fright.
“Who else knows about this matter?” Imperial concubine Yuan Shu asked Rong Zhen, “Where did the news come from?”
Rong Zhen quickly replied: “The news came from none other than the imperial guard that we frequently use. It’s reliable.”
Imperial concubine Yuan Shu nodded. Just as she was about to say something, Rong Zhen added: “Imperial concubine, there is another thing. This morning, his Highness the ninth prince left the city and has not yet returned.”
Imperial concubine Yuan Shu suddenly leaped up from her heatable brick bed, “The ninth prince left the capital?” She wrung her handkerchief, as her mind worked quickly. The more it worked, the more she felt that Yue Xiu’s analysis was correct.” Imperial concubine Yun is definitely not int he palace. Also, his Majesty has no clue that she has left the palace!”
Yue Xiu added: “Imperial concubine Pin left the palace without permission and received the death penalty. Even if his Majesty protects her, the rules are there. As long as the evidence is provided, imperial concubine Yun will definitely die.”
Rong Zhen also said in an eccentric manner: “Moreover, imperial concubine Yun had left the palace for almost a year. For such a long time, perhaps she has eloped with someone. Even a child could have been born!”
Imperial concubine Yuan Shu immediately said: “Let’s go. We’re going to see her Highness the Empress.”
Yue Xiu, however, stopped her and pointed outside, saying: “Imperial concubine, the day is late. It would be better to say it when paying respects to the Empress, right? Her Highness the Empress has not been in good health over the past few months. She would lie down before it was time for lights out. I fear that going now would have the opposite effect.”
Imperial concubine Yuan Shu heard this and felt that it was correct, thus she sat back down. A look of joy that was hard to conceal appeared on her face because of this matter. Yue Xiu advised her: “Imperial concubine, get a good night’s sleep tonight. Let’s go and pay respects to her Highness the Empress a little earlier tomorrow. That way, you can talk about this matter. The Empress has been a good person for all of these years. She does not concern herself over other matters, but she does concern herself with imperial concubine Yun. She will need to provide his Majesty with an explanation. Otherwise, if this matter really is true, her position as the Empress would be hard to preserve.”
Cun Shan Palace did not have any good within it. Imperial concubine Yuan Shu was thinking entirely about how to deal with imperial concubine Yun. As for Feng Yu Heng’s side, she did not know that someone had noticed what was off with imperial concubine Yun leaving the palace.
Early the next morning, she had Wang Chuan find her a suitable and light-colored court dress. She had to get craftsman Bai out of the palace, and this would require her to visit the palace. The accessories made by craftsman Bai were mostly for the imperial concubines of the palace. She knew that she could only go to the Empress for this request.
Wang Chuan helped her with her clothes while saying: “Her Highness the Empress has always been generous and has treated young miss very well. Thinking about it, borrowing craftsman Bai would be an easy matter.”
Feng Yu Heng did not make a sound. She did not feel that this would be an easy matter. Craftsman Bai had been in the palace for nearly a year without coming out. There had to be someone obstructing things, but she did not know who was doing it. The Empress was also sick. Who knew who was given this job by the Empress.
When she left the manor, the servant at the gate told her that Qing Yu had already brought Prince Lian to look for a residence. Feng Yu Heng thought to herself that she just hoped that Prince Lian could quickly find a place to live. She truly did not like it being so lively. This imperial daughter’s manor had truly become too much for her.
Sitting in her imperial carriage, she reached into her space with her consciousness. It had been filled with reagents that Yao Xian was experimenting with. Bai Fu Rong was still lying in the rest room, while Yao Xian continued to work busily in the operating room.
The previous night, Yao Xian had come out while resting to tell Feng Yu Heng that he would be done with working on a bacteria that acts in reverse. When the time came, he would inject her to give it a try. If nothing unexpected happened, it should be effective. As for Bai Fu Rong, she could also be brought out of the space tonight and placed inside the medicine storage room to rest.
The trip continued along without anyone speaking. Wang Chuan and Huang Quan did not know what Feng Yu Heng was thinking about. They just felt that their young miss had heavy thoughts on her mind. They were just going into the palace to request craftsman Bai’s help, yet they were given a feeling of going out to fight an enemy.
Very quickly, they arrived at the imperial palace. The three entered through the side entrance. When the imperial guards saw Feng Yu Heng arrive, they warmly went to greet her while helping take care of the imperial carriage and paying their respects. Feng Yu Heng said a few polite words before bringing her two servants toward the central palace.
The central palace where the Empress resided recently had its name changed by the Emperor himself: Jing Ci Palace. Because of this illness, the Board of Astronomy said that the palace’s former name was disturbing the balance, thus the name was changed.
When Feng Yu Heng arrived, the imperial concubines had just paid respects and kneeled. An aunt to the Empress’ side, Fang Yi, said: “Imperial daughter, you’ve finally arrived. Her Highness has been thinking about you over the past few days.”
She quickly smiled and said: “I just returned to the capital and have had many things to do. Not coming to pay respects to her Highness the Empress in a timely manner was Heng’s wrongdoing. I will make up for it all at once today. While I am here, I will examine her Highness’ health. Why has she been ill for so long without improving?”
Hearing that Feng Yu Heng would be examining the Empress’ health, Fang Yi was extremely happy, “Not to hide it from imperial daughter, but we have been waiting for you to take a look. The imperial physicians in the palace have all taken a look, but nobody could say anything for certain. She has been drinking the bitter medical soups every day without any signs of improvement.”
The two spoke while walking in. Fang Yi lowered her voice and said; “Right now, there is still imperial concubine Yuan Shu that has not left. She is currently talking to her Highness.”
Just after saying this, they heard the Empress fiercely shout from inside the partition: “How dare you! Imperial concubine Yuan Shu, do you know what you are saying? Do you know what wantonly inventing stories about imperial concubine Yun will result in?”
Feng Yu Heng was startled and slowed her steps…