Special Chapter: The last princess (2) (Part 1)
I had been in Hua Yang Hall for three months. During these three months, I had gone to every place in the Eastern Palace. Everyone knew that I was the mute girl who was picked up by Feng Xiao. They saw that I was only a child, so they didn’t hinder me much from wandering around.
Three months was enough for me to remember the layout of the Eastern Palace. Except for Feng Xiao’s study that I couldn’t enter, I had my presence at all his other places.
What made me worried was that there were very few times to see Feng Xiao in the past three months. After he placed me in the Hua Yang Hall, he never appeared in front of me again. Aunt Xi Mei said that I should please Feng Xiao and get his likes. That way I could survive here. So, I made a decision.
“You want to be a palace maid?” Dong Rui was surprised, “Isn’t it good now, miss? There’s His Royal Highness, no one will bully you!”
“There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” I wrote on paper.
Dong Rui looked at it for a long time and smiled. “Miss, allow this servant to report to His Royal Highness.”
However, Feng Xiao didn’t come see me in the end. That young man who held me in Chao Tian village never appeared again. Only Dong Rui brought back a reply. Feng Xiao agreed to let me start from the lowest rank for palace maid.
Dong Rui brought me a small size of the palace maid’s clothes. I took off the robes on my body and started as a small palace maid.
Many people didn’t understand my choice. People thought that I should ask for more things through the favor of Feng Xiao. I heard everyone’s comment but didn’t respond. Aunt Xi Mei said that no one would be guarded against children. I didn’t think so. Feng Xiao’s cold shoulder at these times was sufficient to show that I was merely a small wave and didn’t attract his attention.
If I wanted to stay at Feng Xiao’s side, I had to have such ability and qualifications. Only in this way, I could avenge my royal father one day.
- I used royal father for the first-rank prince.
The palace maid who was in charge of matters wasn’t particularly tolerant of me because I was brought back by Feng Xiao. She treated me equally and was still strict with me. Under her teaching, soon I was able to do my job and became a qualified palace maid in the Eastern Palace. I was assigned to the garden of the Eastern Palace.
Although the garden of the Eastern Palace wasn’t comparable to the Imperial Garden in the imperial palace, it was still colorful and full of flowers.
Feng Xiao wasn’t married, so there weren’t any female masters in the Eastern Palace. The only person who often came to play was Feng Xiao’s little sister, Feng Huang. When I first saw Feng Huang, I was surprised. I thought I saw a fairy from the heaven. Feng Xiao gently stood beside Feng Huang and picked up the petals on her shoulders. The two of them standing in the garden was just like fairies.
Feng Huang was the same age as me, but the nobleness of her gestures was entirely innate. Seeing me looking at her, she wasn’t angry but instead nodded to me and smiled. That smile made me forget that I was sweeping the floor and I foolishly stood there.
“Brother, you hire child labor! You’re even willing to let such a small girl work. If mother knows, she’ll scold you again!” The voice of Feng Huang was as gentle as the butterfly in the wind. When I saw her coming over, my breathing slowed down.
“What’s your name?” Feng Huang held my hand. I recognized the brocade on her body. It had long been known that little master Feng Huang was much doted on by Ming Yue Cheng. It seemed to be true.
I didn’t know why. When I saw Feng Huang and Feng Xiao together, I felt a sad feeling in my heart. Everything they enjoy now should have belonged to me. If my royal father was still here, if my royal father got the throne, I would have been the honorable princess Rong Hua and not a little palace maid with a broom.
“Long Er, she can’t talk.” Feng Xiao explained my silence and told my name to Feng Huang. From the eyes of Feng Huang, I saw pity. Compared to her brother Feng Xiao, Feng Huang was a simpler girl.
“Brother, let Rong Hua go with me! I lack a study companion!”
I had heard that as long as Feng Huang asked, Feng Xiao would meet her request. But this time, Feng Xiao looked at me for a long time. If it hadn’t been for the sun up in the sky, I thought I fell into the ice cave. My intuition told me that Feng Xiao doubted my identity. That was why he did this to me. In a panic, I lowered my head and my tiny fingers grabbed the broomstick firmly, and even at some point, I was about to stop breathing.
“Brother, don’t scare Rong Hua. She’s still a child.” Feng Huang seeing me like this, quickly helped me out. In an instant, the cold that was frozen around me disappeared. “If you like her, take her with you then!”
After Feng Xiao and Feng Huang left, my legs gave out and fell on the ground.
I would never forget the expression of Feng Xiao, where his purple eyes were covered with ice behind the long eyelashes. Although I didn’t know what had gone wrong and made him change so much, but I could feel him doubting me and guarding against me.
Before I could ponder over the cause of the problem, I was brought into the imperial palace of Nan Feng by Feng Huang.
This was my first visit to the palace. Even though I knew a lot about the imperial palace of Nan Feng from the description of aunt Xi Mei. I had also once fantasized in my little head about how magnificent the imperial palace was. But I was still attracted by the beautiful scenery in front of me.
“Rong Hua, you’ll live here from now on. You can rest assured that no one will bully you. There’s me! Even brother can’t!” Feng Huang generously found a residence for me. Let me go from being an orphan girl to a study companion of Feng Huang.
In Nan Feng, there were three noblest persons; one was Ming Yue Cheng, the second was Feng Xiao and the third was Feng Huang.
But for the people in the palace, the noblest person was Feng Huang. Ming Yue Cheng and Feng Xiao treated her like a treasure. All the food and clothing expenses were the best, even I as the study companion was enjoying the best treatment. My status had also risen because of Feng Huang and became miss Rong Hua among the people.
Aunt Xi Mei said that ten years wasn’t too long for a gentleman to take revenge. Feng Xiao had already become suspicious of me. I must have the trust of Feng Huang in order to survive in this palace.
In the next five years, I had been careful and cautious, firmly remembering my identity and tried my best to play the role of a study companion. As time passed, I almost forgot my identity until eunuch Luo came to me.
That day, I picked up the red plum blossom and planned to go back. A eunuch with a crooked body stepped on the snow appeared in front of me. “Paying this eunuch’s respect to Princess Rong Hua….”
His voice was old and gloomy. When I heard him for the first time, I was startled and quickly looked around. It was winter and there was no one in the Plum Garden. I breathed a sigh of relief. I looked at eunuch Luo and pretended that ‘I don’t understand what you mean.”
“Hehe, Princess is very sharp-witted.” That eunuch took out a jade and handed it to me. After seeing the word ‘Xi’, my eyes became warm. ‘Xi’ was the name of my royal father. This was the jade that imperial grandfather gave him when he was born. Aunt Xi Mei said that if I could enter the palace, someone would take the jade of wangye1 to meet me. I think the eunuch in front was the person who aunt Xi Mei talked about!
- Here I used imperial grandfather because the grandfather was the emperor while her father was a prince.
“Luo Su?” I spoke softly.
“It’s this slave.” Luo Su heard me speak and his eyes became red. People in the palace thought that I was a mute girl. No one knew that I could actually speak. I just pretended that I couldn’t. “Princess has suffered! If wangye was still here, he’ll certainly be happy to see Princess being so sensible!”
Luo Su’s words were very emotional and made my heart tremble. After living a quiet life for so long, Luo Su’s arrival finally disrupted it.
I took what Luo Su gave me and quickly returned to the room. After I calmed down, I went out of the room. I put the red plum blossoms in the vase and put it in front of Feng Huang.
“It’s really pretty!”
Feng Huang liked red plum blossom. The bright red plum blossom set off her devastatingly beautiful face. The person and flower complemented each other. It was very touching.
“Rong Hua, thank you!” Feng Huang took out a plum blossom and put it in my hair.
Feng Huang’s manner was very good. Although she was the most beloved girl in Nan Feng, she wasn’t arrogant because of this. She was always modest and amiable. Looking at Feng Huang, I would feel inferior. Not only because god gave her perfect looks, but also because of her noble character. I often wonder if my royal father became the emperor, could I, as the princess, be as noble and pure as Feng Huang.
After returning to the room, I opened up what Luo Su had given me. There was a piece of paper inside, which was densely packed with the people my royal father had put in the imperial palace of Nan Feng in those years as well as the weakness of powerful officials. Since the death of my royal father, Luo Su had been hiding quietly in the palace. It had been ten years now. His life was saved by my royal father, so I would never doubt his loyalty.
It took me three days to memorize all the people written down on the list. Maybe everything was god’s will. Most of those people were assigned to Feng Xiao’s Eastern Palace, which was more convenient for me.
After memorizing it all, I burned the paper. Everything was so cautious that no one was aware of it. For the past five years in the palace, although Feng Huang protected me, I knew clearly that in this dark palace, no information that could be used against me could be left behind. Otherwise, the one that was going to die wasn’t me but everyone.
- Wangye: the first-rank prince ↩