Chapter 110 – When two tigers fight, there certainly will be injuries
"Concubine Yue, halt!"
Once this voice sounded, Concubine Yue's eyebrows puckered up in displeasure. Now halfway through, how come another general Cheng Yao-Jin (1) jumped out? But this voice…
Hearing this voice, Chu Qing-Yan’s gaze passed over Concubine Yue's shoulder and looked behind her. She only saw a woman wearing a palace gown embroidered with tree peony flowers, one hand placed on the Nanny's hand at her side as she slowly walked in. Her makeup was exquisite with very pretty facial features. Her manners were poised, giving off an air of wealth. Both of her eyes had an indifferent expression. Chu Qing-Yan seemed to see Big Block of Ice's shadow on her body. Was it possible that this person had some relationship to Big Block of Ice?
Just as Chu Qing-Yan was pondering this, Concubine Yue had already turned around. Once she saw the person that came, her expression changed slightly. But very quickly, she changed it to a sweet-tempered expression. "So it turned out to be empress older sister who has graced us with your presence. Please excuse this younger sister for not going out to greet you. These palace people really are neglectful of their duties. They didn't even come to report older sister's arrival. Later, this younger sister will teach them properly."
Empress older sister?
Chu Qing-Yan immediately returned to her senses. This person was Big Block of Ice's mother Liang Yuan, Western Xuan country's Left Minister's younger brother's second daughter. Can't blame her just now for feeling that this person seemed similar to Big Block of Ice. She suddenly thought, since Empress Liang looked like a really virtuous beauty with excellent features, then Big Block of Ice's original appearance ought to be very elegant and extremely handsome. Outside, rumors had it that a huge fire ten years ago already burned and ruined his appearance. A burst of pain came out of nowhere to seize her heart. If that huge fire didn't happen, then that extremely quiet and cold person ought to have what kind of appearance?
Dredging up Chu Qing-Yan from her own world was Empress Liang's tone that held a smile but not quite a smile. "If they had come to report, how could older sister see this big play of younger sister teaching my daughter-in-law on my behalf?"
This smile had words of mockery that displeased Concubine Yue. She still remained smiling as she said. "What is older sister talking about? Qing-Yan this girl is still young and doesn't know the rules in the palace. I heard today that older sister was preoccupied with some difficult matters and let Qing-Yan and Xu'er to return first. Younger sister thought since older sister is so busy, then let this idle younger sister help with older sister's difficulties and take on some of the labors, help older sister to teach Qing-Yan a bit. Alas, maybe it's because Qing-Yan is still young and isn't sensible, that is why in one careless moment, she broke the treasure bestowed by His Majesty. Younger sister originally wanted to forget about it, but under so many staring eyes, if younger sister was to shield her, then how am I suppose to manage the palace people after this? Therefore I reluctantly decided to have her punished!"
She said it as if it was reasonable and in accordance with the rules. As if there was no way to find a hole that could tear the speech apart.
Empress Liang, under Luo Yun's support sat down on the master's chair within this palace hall. She placed both hands on her knee as she looked toward the warm, virtuous and good Concubine Yue in front of her with slight mockery. If it was not for the palace maid coming to report that Concubine Yue had invited the two people over to Moon Palace and then had Xu'er sent away. It may be assumed that the Empress also hadn't anticipated that Concubine Yue, in order to deter her, thought of looking for trouble for Chu Qing-Yan.
Although she wanted Chu Qing-Yan to disappear from this earth with her heart and soul, she still wouldn't allow Fu You-Yue, this slut to borrow an excuse to use Chu Qing-Yan to slap her face.
On the surface, Chu Qing-Yan was still Xu'er's consort, hitting Chu Qing-Yan was the same as hitting Xu'er's face. It was not limited to this, there was also her face being hit and Liang family's face.
Admittedly, she wasn't satisfied with Chu Qing-Yan, however she had no choice but to undertake the task of saving her.
However, what angered her was Concubine Yue's attitude, holding up a flag of teaching her daughter-in-law on her behalf to hit her face!
"Younger sister really is too polite, this makes older sister really happy. Able to have such a considerate and gentle younger sister like you." Empress Liang smiled faintly, but no matter who it was, they could hear the ridicule in those words.
Chu Qing-Yan blinked her eyes, watching this war of words without gun smoke. She finally understood that phrase she heard before 'the harem was like a battlefield. It was more cruel than real blades and spears without the sight of blood!'
But who was Concubine Yue? She had gone through many challenging experiences in the harem for so many years that she had already trained her body's response to near perfection. She pretended that Empress Liang was sincerely praising her, smiling just right to say. "Since older sister came, then together watch how this younger sister teach Qing-Yan this girl."
Empress Liang shot a glance at Chu Qing-Yan who was forced to lie on that long bench. Although her heart didn't like her, she was being forced by people so she couldn't ignore this matter. As a result, she picked up the tea the palace people had delivered and lifted up the teacup's lid, unhurriedly taking a sip. By no means was she impatient nor in a hurry as she replied. "Younger sister said because this palace didn't have time to teach her so you took over the duties yourself. Today, this palace has some free time, it's better that this palace takes this girl back and personally teach her."
"Older sister saying this, younger sister really feels happy on behalf of Chu family's girl. However, since now the equipment is already neatly prepared, how about this time older sister teach the lesson here in Moon Palace, to avoid the waste in time when changing places. Older sister, what do you think?" Concubine Yue really seemed as if she was sincerely considering this matter for the other person as she said this.
Having heard what was said, a breath choked in Empress Liang's throat. Concubine Yue really was counting her chickens before they were hatched. If she was to teach Chu Qing-Yan in Moon Palace, then if it was spread out it would become that she arranged the punishment for personal reasons. To severely punish a little girl doll, moreover who was her own daughter-in-law, not only would her reputation be spread as ruthless, sinister and cruel, the most important thing was this would not look good for His Majesty. Because this was the bestowed daughter-in-law's first time entering the palace and yet she was punished by her, no matter what kind of rumor was spread, it would all be detrimental to her.
But if she didn't appear, this matter of Concubine Yue punishing Chu Qing-Yan for personal reasons simply wouldn't cause a ripple in His Majesty's eyes.
His Majesty liked Concubine Yue, no matter what things Concubine Yue did, his Majesty would do his utmost to absolve her. If she was to do something, then His Majesty would only think she was ruthless, sinister and cruel!
This was the difference between her and Concubine Yue.
Empress Liang recalled all the suffering she ate at her hand, and the veins on the back of her hand exploded out.
Luo Yun on the side, seeing this knew her family's master had successfully been infuriated by Concubine Yue. Her head loudly cried 'not good' and she immediately reminded in a low tone. "Niang Niang, is the tea too hot? Do you want this slave to get someone to switch it?"
The message being not to get angry at this moment.
Empress Liang having heard this, restrained her expression. She was almost infuriated by Concubine Yue again. The veins on her hand faintly went down before she took a glance at Chu Qing-Yan who lay there quietly ever since she appeared. At least, this girl wasn't that noisy. A part of her displeasure toward Chu Qing-Yan was eliminated before she said to Concubine Yue. "No need, younger sister is the type of person that likes quiet. This kind of matter with yelling hit and yelling kill doesn't suit you. Therefore, it's better for this palace to bring this girl back."
Xiao Ran nervously listened to the two's exchange on the side. Seeing Empress Liang saying it like this, happiness suddenly rose to the tip of his eyebrows. Although Empress Liang's heart and intestines carried poison, at the very least she was Elder Royal Brother's mother. At least she won't use a very ruthless hand against Chu Qing-Yan. Also, this gave him time to inform Elder Royal brother and let Elder Royal Brother go and save Chu Qing-Yan.
"But…." Concubine Yue seemed to find things difficult.
"No need for but, younger sister should rest early. This palace will take the person away." Empress Liang didn't allow any explanation and stood up. And the people she brought immediately stepped forward to untie the rope on Chu Qing-Yan's body. They pulled Chu Qing-Yan up, then followed behind Empress Liang and left.
"Niang Niang, you just let Empress Liang take away that girl like this?" Yu Tu, the puzzled trusted palace maid asked.
Concubine Yue's lips hooked into a smile. "This palace's original intent was to grind a bit more at Empress Liang. Since I already achieved my goal, whether I hit her or not is not that important."
The most important thing was that she very fiercely slapped Liang Yuan's face, this was enough!
"Ran'er, I order you to stop!" Concubine Yue immediately said as she saw out of the corner of her eyes the figure walking towards the door.
1) Cheng Yao-Jin – Was a general who served under three emperors of early Tang dynasty in Chinese history. He is often portrayed in Chinese folklore as a bumbling general that shows up at the right place and the right time to save the day. See his wikipedia page here