Emperor, Get in Here for This Grandaunty
Xuan Tian Ming and Feng Yu Heng’s arrival gave a group of people hope. At the same time, it filled another group with despair.
The Emperor and Zhang Yuan naturally hoped that they would come. With them arriving, the Emperor had a pillar of support. Zhang Yuan also let out a sigh of relief. But on imperial concubine Yuan Shu’s side, they clearly knew that imperial concubine Yun was not in the palace, but for some reason, just seeing Xuan Tian Ming and Feng Yu Heng caused them to feel afraid for no apparent reason. They began to feel that this situation might turn around.
Yue Xiu quietly reminded her from the side: “Imperial concubine, do not be afraid. They don’t know magic. How could they bring out a person that isn’t in the palace. Even if they immediately brought her into the palace, they could not do it without anyone noticing.”
Although she said this, imperial concubine Yuan Shu’s heart still sank a bit.
At this moment, Xuan Tian Ming and Feng Yu Heng had already arrived in front of the Emperor, kneeling in unison: “Son (daughter-in-law) greets father Emperor.”
The Emperor quickly went forward and helped the two up. With an anxious expression, he said: “Winter Moon Palace caught fire, and your imperial concubine mother can’t be found. Ming’er, quickly think of something. The fire was extremely large. Hopefully, nothing has happened to her.”
Xuan Tian Ming patted the Emperor’s hand and consoled him: “Father Emperor, don’t panic. son trusts that nothing happened to imperial concubine mother. Things definitely will not happen as desired for the people that tried to harm her.”
“Hiss!” The Emperor inhaled sharply. Earlier, he had just been in a blind panic. It was only at this moment that he noticed the strangeness of this fire.
Xuan Tian Ming’s lips curled into a sneer and turned his sharp gaze toward the group further away. His gaze landed straight on imperial concubine Yuan Shu.
“Was it you that just said that this prince’s imperial concubine mother is missing?” His tone was ice-cold and without any emotion.
The ninth prince of the Xuan family, aside from being close with his imperial concubine mother and showing a bit of respect to the Empress, he did not have any feelings toward the other imperial concubines. In fact, he was not even willing to be polite and address them as imperial concubine mothers. This was especially true of the ones targetted by Xuan Tian Ming.
This question caused imperial concubine Yuan Shu to not know how to reply. She subconsciously took a couple steps back but heard Xuan Tian Ming continue to ask: “Imperial concubine Yuan Shu? Un, old eighth’s birth mother. Why is it that it sounded to this prince like you were insinuating that imperial concubine Yun is not in the palace? Every single word that you said caused father Emperor to think of the bad. Using father Emperor’s feelings for imperial concubine Yun, you caused the greatest change in father Emperor’s emotions. This prince must ask you, if father Emperor died from the anxiety, could you or your maternal family endure this responsibility? Also, could old eighth shoulder that responsibility? Un, for you to scheme so incessantly in an attempt to try and anger father Emperor, what exactly is your intention?”
With all of these questions bombarding her, imperial concubine Yuan Shu’s heart was extremely flustered, and it was on the verge of leaping out of her throat. After Xuan Tian Ming finally finished speaking, she dropped to the ground and kneeled toward the Emperor: “Your Majesty, this concubine did not. This concubine really did not have that meaning!”
The Emperor did not think that much about it at first, but Xuan Tian Ming’s words made it clear. After thinking about it, that’s right. At first, he had only been worried about imperial concubine Yun’s safety, but as a result of imperial concubine Yuan Shu’s words, he began to worry about whether or not imperial concubine Yun was in the palace. He even began thinking about what he should do if imperial concubine Yun really did run away?
Now that he had turned the corner, a wave of anger quickly filled him. Looking at the kneeling imperial concubine Yuan Shu, he angrily shouted: “Take her away! Take her away for Us! Remove her status as imperial concubine Shu. Never allow her to appear before Us again!”
These words were like a bucket of cold water that had been splashed on imperial concubine Yuan Shu’s head. She collapsed on the ground, no longer daring to believe that this was real.
At this moment, some guards had already come up to pull her away. She realized that if she did not fight back, it really would all be over, thus she did her best to fight back. At the same time, she loudly said: “Your Majesty! Your Majesty, do you dare make a bet with this concubine? If imperial concubine Yun is still in the palace, this concubine will accept the punishment, but if she really is no longer here, would your Majesty give this concubine a fair ruling!” After shouting for a long time, she saw that the Emperor ignored her. She then urgently said: “Could it be that your Majesty does not dare?”
The Emperor became furious: “What is there for Us to not dare? Although Pian Pian is angry at Us, refusing to see Us for 20 years, but she definitely would not do something like flee the palace!”
At this time, Feng Yu Heng began moving once more: “I must ask you, does Winter Moon Palace have a place to hide from disasters or a cold place to hide from fires?” She asked the servants of Winter Moon Palace and did not even look at the imperial guards.
The servants of Winter Moon Palace clearly knew that imperial concubine Yun was not there, but now that the ninth prince and imperial daughter Ji An had come, they answered the question truthfully. A eunuch thought for a bit then said: “It must be said that the coolest place in our Winter Moon Palace is the cold storage. Back when Winter Moon Palace was being built, imperial concubine could not handle the heat, and his Majesty specially dug up a cold storage for her. Every day during the Summer, ice cubes would be brought out to either cool herself or cool some fruit.”
She nodded and looked at the smoke coming from Winter Moon Palace. Turning around, she said to the Emperor: “Father Emperor, since we have already searched the surface areas, what follows should be searching in the hidden areas. Imperial concubine mother has always been a clever person. During this sort of strange fire, not to mention burning someone to death, even if they didn’t burn to death, who knows if there are any other hidden plots. Right now is not the time to follow up on responsibility, but once the fire has been put out, people can be sent inside to search.”
The Emperor took a deep breath and thought to himself that he had been muddled by anger. Sure enough, old ninth and his wife would bring some new thoughts along. He immediately ordered his hidden guards: “Follow Us inside!”
Zhang Yuan trembled with fear and grabbed a hold of the Emperor’s sleeve: “You can’t! They can go, but your Majesty must not go! Although there are no big flames, this current situation is most dangerous. The structure of the building has been weakened by the fire. Don’t look at how it’s still being supported for now. Who knows just when a piece will fall. Who will take responsibility if a piece falls and hits you?”
The Emperor angrily said: “We will take responsibility!”
“No good, no good.” Zhang Yuan continued to hold onto him, “You can’t afford to take that responsibility. That’s absolutely no good.”
Xuan Tian Ming also said: “That’s right, father Emperor cannot go in.” He then said to the hidden guards: “What are you still standing around for? Quickly go inside!”
The hidden guards nodded then dashed into Winter Moon Palace in a blur.
The Emperor heard what Xuan Tian Ming said and did not make another sound; however, he just stared attentively at the smoldering Winter Moon Palace. In his heart, he was hoping that the hidden guards could bring imperial concubine Yun out.
The Empress turned around and ordered the servants: “Quickly go and bring all of the imperial physicians over. If imperial concubine Yun was hurt, she can be treated immediately.”
Xuan Tian Ming did not say anything; however, he nodded to the Empress in an act of accepting this goodwill. No matter what was said, the Empress could be considered as having an interest in this matter.
But the Emperor said: “We hope that Pian Pian is not injured. Compared to her being injured, We would rather that she fled the palace. We would rather lose her than allow her to suffer even the slightest.”
His voice was not quiet, and the scene was quiet too. Practically all of the imperial concubines heard it.
Suddenly, someone could no longer hold back their tears and began crying. Their tears were filled with emotion, and she was crying for her own youth. She had endured a bitter 20 years; however, in the end, she still could not compare to imperial concubine Yun. It was only today that they understood what imperial concubine Yun meant to the Emperor. He would rather lose her than see her hurt. This was an emperor, yet he gave a woman this much love. Not a single person could hope to obtain it.
In front of Winter Moon Palace’s entrance, more and more people gathered. Practically everyone in the imperial palace had run over to wait for the end result of this fire.
After a while, the hidden guards finally came out of the palace. This time, they brought a piece of news that had basically saved the Emperor’s life, “Imperial concubine Yun is indeed in the cold storage, but this subordinate could not bring her out. Imperial concubine said that she wanted your Majesty to go inside yourself to get her.”
Once these words were said, the Emperor was practically bouncing around happily. He did not dare believe his own ears. Grabbing the hidden guard, he asked uncertainly: “What did you just say? Repeat what you just said once more!”
The hidden guard repeated himself, saying: “Imperial concubine Yun said to have your Majesty go inside yourself to get her.”
“But it’s very dangerous!” Someone among the group of imperial concubines raised an objection, “It’s too dangerous for your Majesty to go in.”
The Empress was also a little worried, but she understood when certain things should be said. After so many years, she had learned a rule: As long as it’s related to imperial concubine Yun, that’s something that should not be objected to.
Zhang Yuan, who had been holding his sleeve, also let go upon seeing Feng Yu Heng shake her head slightly. He thought that since the imperial daughter did not object, going in should not be too much of a problem, right? But he felt that there was a discrepancy. Imperial concubine Yun clearly was not in the imperial palace, so how could she have gotten into the cold storage? Looking at it, it seemed that the ninth prince and imperial daughter Ji An had just entered the palace. It was impossible for them to have sent imperial concubine Yun earlier!
Just as he was feeling puzzled, Xuan Tian Ming personally went forward and helped the Emperor, saying: “Son will accompany father inside.”
Feng Yu Heng also followed along.
Just like this, the Emperor finally entered Winter Moon Palace after 20 years. When his feet stepped past the threshold of Winter Moon Palace, Xuan Tian Ming could feel that his father’s hands were trembling with an emotional expression on his face that could not be hidden.
At this moment, even if it was Xuan Tian Ming and Feng Yu Heng, the two could not help but sigh happily.
From the entrance to the cold storage, the Emperor staggered along for a long time. After finally arriving at the cold storage, he suddenly stopped and asked Xuan Tian Ming: “Say, is she really there?”
Xuan Tian Ming said: “Didn’t the hidden guard already see her.”
“But why do We feel so uneasy? This is like a dream. Just now, they said that Pian Pian was not in the palace, and We really thought that if she ran away, We would go out and look for her. This country would be left for you to handle. You need to be a good emperor. Just having one wife and one son will be enough. Don’t take in too many. Taking care of one child is better than anything else. What wandering around freely at night. In the end, it just causes you a headache.”
Xuan Tian Ming nodded, “Father Emperor, don’t worry. I definitely can’t take in any more wives. As for children, that would depend on my wife and how many she wants to have.”
Feng Yu Heng looked at him sideways but did not speak.
The Emperor was still uneasy and continued to ask: “Does she really want to see me? Heng! Quickly take a look for father Emperor. Do my clothes look a bit too casual?” While saying this, he glared at Zhang Yuan: “You didn’t even think to put nice clothes on for Us. Take a look, what is this? Also, hair, is my hair scattered? Hah!” He began feeling his face: “It’s over, it’s over. This face has gotten old. Just a few days ago, We looked and saw that the corners of Our eyes are drooping. What should be done?”
While he was hesitating over not knowing what he should do, he heard a woman’s cold voice suddenly speak from inside the cold storage: “Xuan Zhan! If you don’t come in now, this grandaunty will freeze to death!”