T/N: Thank you patrons for sponsoring this chapter part.
Title: ChongFei Manual
Chapter: 148.2 out of 171
On the other side, Noble Consort Ning’s expression was unpleasant as she sat in a rosewood chair inside her room.
Seeing her expression, Yang Mama, who was one of her personal servants, comfortingly said, “Your Highness, what’s there to be angry about? Her Majesty said those words to upset you because she can’t obtain His Majesty’s favor. Doesn’t that show how important you are to His Majesty? From this servant’s perspective, you should cool your temper. Isn’t His Majesty going to come here tonight? You should put these troublesome thoughts to the side. It’s more important to serve His Majesty well.” She smiled and added, “If you have his Majesty’s favor, what’s there to be afraid of?”
Noble Consort Ning squeezed the armrest. She wasn’t that angry. She just felt anxious because Empress Chen had suddenly mentioned what had happened back then. She kept thinking that Empress Chen must know something.
She waved her hand and said, “Never mind. Bring me a cup of tea. I’m thirsty.”
Yang Mama nodded and left the room.
Shortly after, she heard footsteps from behind and a cup of tea was placed on the eight-immortal style table. Noble Consort Ning thought Yang Mama had come back and didn’t spare another thought. She picked up the light yellow cloisonné cup that had a pattern of orchids and took a sip. She furrowed her eyebrows and said, “Why is it cold?”
A voice that sounded old said, “Your Highness, please calm you anger. This servant will get Your Highness another cup of tea.”
Noble Consort Ning noticed that something was wrong and turned her head to look behind her. “What happened to your voice? It doesn't sound the same as normal…”
Before her sentence was finished, she suddenly stopped.
This grey-haired, coarse-looking woman with a deeply wrinkled face wasn’t Yang Mama.
Noble Consort Ning eyes widened her eyes and fearfully asked, “Who are you? Why are you here?” After saying these words, she wanted to call out for the other servants to come here.
But, the old woman was faster than her and had already reached her side with her face lifted up. “Your Highness, have you forgotten me? I’m Qing Fei. This servant served you fifteen years ago.”
Qing Fei. Qing Fei was a servant girl that had entered the palace with her… Noble Consort Ning could no longer hide the surprise and horror in her eyes. She tightly clutched the armrest and asked, “Why are you here? Didn’t you leave the palace?”
Back then, Qing Fei had known the truth. Noble Consort Ning had decided it would be dangerous for her to stay at her side, but she also couldn’t bear to kill her, so she released her from the palace and married her to a faraway place.
She never expected that she would still come back!
Qing Fei lowered her head and said, “Your Highness, you don’t know. Although this servant hasn’t been in the palace during the past years, I still couldn’t escape condemnation of my conscience. There wasn’t a single day when I didn’t feel guilty towards Her Majesty and Princess Tianji.”
Noble Consort Ning furiously stood up from the chair and said while staring at her, “Why are you saying these words? Tell me. Who brought you into the palace?” She still couldn’t grasp this point. She carefully thought and made the connection between Empress Chen’s words today. She sternly asked, “Did the empress bribe you here to say these words to me?”
Qing Fei shook her head. “It’s not related to Her Majesty. This servant just whole-heartedly wanted to see Your Highness…. This servant had harmed the young princess and now this servant’s grandson is facing hardship. It must be that the Heavens are punishing this servant’s mistake. This servant came here to plead with Your Highness. Please say a few good words in front of Buddha for this servant. Say that you were the one that pressured this servant. This servant was only following orders. Ask Buddha to spare this servant’s grandson.”
Noble Consort Ning was extremely angered and her mind was also slightly muddled. “What nonsense are you saying? Get out of the palace. Otherwise, don’t blame me for not caring about sentiments from past days.”
Qing Fei’s entire family’s lives were in Zhao Jie’s hands. She wasn’t afraid of Noble Consort Ning’s threat. If she died, the rest of her family would be safe from death. She added, “Your Highness, you have children too. You must understand the feelings of a mother when her children are faced with hardship. Has your heart not felt the slightest bit of guilt during the past years?”
Noble Consort Ning kicked her and angrily said, “Guards! Bring this madwoman away.”
Qing Fei clutched Noble Consort Ning’s skirt with a death grip. With a face full of tears, she said, “Your Highness, please help this servant. This servant is out of options… This servant lives in regret every day. Your Highness, why did you harm that one-year-old princess? Aren’t you afraid that Buddha will punish you?”
There wasn’t any sound from outside and no one came inside to bring Qing Fei away. It was as if Noble Consort Ning and Qing Fei were the only two people in the entire room.
However, Noble Consort Ning was currently in a fit of anger and didn’t notice the strangeness. Provoked by Qing Fei’s words, she grabbed her chin and said, “Why should I be afraid? Let me tell you, I’ve never believed in Buddha. So what if I poisoned her? That Zhao Liuli is just lucky she’s still alive. If Buddha wants to punish me, I would have been punished a long time ago. Why delay things until now?”
Qing Fei was half-kneeling on the ground. She didn’t say another word.
For a long time, the room was utterly quiet. If a pin were to be dropped, it would be heard. It was only now that Noble Consort NIng realized that something was off. They had been so loud. Palace servants and guards should have come inside to check. She had already called out a few times, but no one had come. Moreover, Yang Mama had gone to get tea. Why hadn’t she come back yet after such a long time?
Noble Consort Ning’s heart dropped like a stone. She had a very bad premonition.
“Since Buddha can’t punish you, then this emperor will punish you.” A cold, angry voice came from outside the room’s entrance.
Noble Consort Ning turned her head to look and saw Emperor Chong Zhen wearing a dark green robe embroidered with a pair of dragons surrounding a pearl. He was standing in the doorway and fiercely staring at her.
(T/N: Below are pictures of that dragon design.)