The Cottonrose Hibiscus on the White Handkerchief
With this, madam Lu finally began to believe what Feng Yu Heng had said because she had clearly seen a low-class female entertainer hold onto a man and enter the private room. There was a young woman inside that said a few things. When Feng Yu Heng arrived, she immediately grabbed the young madam and brought her to the neighboring private room. At the same time, she heard Feng Yu Heng loudly shout: “Young master, don’t beat the young madam. This servant will bring young madam out immediately. Young master absolutely must not get angry.”
Madam Lu suddenly felt that she was no longer the only one on this boat to lose face. The son of the prime minister was also quite shameful. He was so debauched that he was not even willing to let go of a prostitute. Speaking of, his taste was even worse than her own husband’s. Thinking like this, she did not want to remain on the deck any longer. Standing up, she dusted off her butt then returned to her own room.
Going back to Feng Yu Heng’s side, Wang Chuan had mysteriously been dragged by Feng Yu Heng to the neighboring room. Yuan Fei had also been cursed at by Feng Yu heng. Even Qing Le’s eyes lit up in the instant that she saw Feng Yu Heng.
The play had begun suddenly and ended just as quickly. Feng Yu Heng brought Wang Chuan back to the room where she and Huang Quan were staying. Although Yuan Fei felt that this was odd, he reacted quickly. He knew that since Feng Yu heng said this, there was definitely a purpose, thus grabbed Qing Le and pulled her into his embrace then took her into the room. He then closed the door to the room.
The people that did not sleep heard these movements and poked their heads out to take a look. The doors to the two rooms remained shut, and there was not a single sound coming from them.
Qing Le remained in Yuan Fei’s room for under an hour before being escorted by Yuan Fei to Feng Yu Heng’s private room, changing places with Huang Quan and Wang Chuan without anyone knowing. Raising her head, she saw Feng Yu Heng sitting cross-legged on the bed. Holding a small furnace in her hand, she smiled and waved to her: “Hi!”
Qing Le was stunned and was dazed for a moment. It seemed as though her mind had returned to the past. At that time, she was still a dignified imperial daughter. Although her father was a noble with an awkward existence, and although her status could not compare to that of Xuan Tian Ge, she was still a far more noble existence than the vast majority of the capital. At that time, how glorious of a life did she live. In her palace, she could do whatever she pleased. With a great number of servants at her side, a great number of men would look at her eagerly; however, they would never get a chance to speak with her.
But what about now? Now, she had fallen and become something low-class. She had become the lowest-class entertainer. Even if it was a beggar on the streets, as long as they could pay, they could climb into her bed.
Qing Le smiled bitterly. She should hate Feng Yu Heng, but there were too many things that she could not remember clearly. She was now like a walking corpse. She did not even have the energy to hate.
She stepped forward and sat in a chair, saying to Feng Yu Heng: “I saw Huang Quan, thus I knew that you were most likely on this boat. Who knew that it really was the case.”
“You came here to look for me, right?” Feng Yu Heng asked her, “Imperial daughter Qing Le, long time no see.”
Qing Le was startled. The words “imperial daughter Qing Le” were filled with a sarcastic tone. She knew that Feng Yu Heng was never someone that was easy to handle. She had tried to fight her in the past, trying again and again. She even implicated Feng Chen Yu; however, she still could not win. After a year of tempering, Feng Yu Heng’s speaking ability improved even further.
“That’s right.” Qing Le sighed, “I did come to look for you. Feng Yu Heng, can… can you save me?” Her voice was very quiet, but a light was shining in her eyes. Everyone was able to see that Qing Le was holding on to hope.
Feng Yu Heng, however, did not express her thoughts. She just looked at Qing Le, her gaze filled with inquiry.
Qing Le gritted her teeth and added: “I know that you have great ability. If you can get me out, I will tell you a secret.”
Feng Yu Heng frowned, “An exchange? I hate this sort of deal where there is a threat. Qing Le, you and I were originally enemies. You chose the wrong person.”
Qing Le angrily stood up, an anger filling her being. She was panting slightly, as she pointed at Feng Yu Heng and said: “Dignified county princess Ji An, you secretly snuck out here. Do you not fear being found out? If I was to reveal your identity and movements, I trust that there are plenty of people who would be happy to buy it.”
Feng Yu Heng laughed, “What do I have to fear? If had this intention, I can guarantee that you will be killed before you can even open your mouth. Even if a lowly prostitute like you died, nobody would investigate. Also, perhaps you have heard that I was conferred the title of county princess; however, you didn’t know that the era of me being a county princess has already passed. Now, I am imperial daughter Ji An.” She laughed then added: “Right, you are also someone that has been an imperial daughter, but my position as imperial daughter is different from you. I am an imperial daughter that has been conferred land. Something like being conferred land, you have never experienced that before, have you?”
All of Feng Yu Heng’s words stabbed at her heart. She stood there, and her legs trembled slightly. Finally unable to support herself, she sat back down; however, she helplessly said: “I have never won an exchange when it came to you. Forget it, Feng Yu Heng, I don’t need you to save me. On the fact that we are both from Da Shun, I will tell you something.”
While Qing Le spoke, a pained look appeared on her face. She even reached up to feel the cloth on her head. She told Feng Yu Heng: “The man that controls us entertainers came from the North. Originally, he was not a particularly important figure, but not one month ago, people would come to him. They did not ask for goods or people, but they would listen to his information on the central region. But you know, there is no set residence for this journey. Today, we will be in this province. Tomorrow, we will definitely be in another county. There is also this river. Who knows how many times I have traversed it. If we visit numerous places, the number of people that are met will naturally be numerous, and we will hear just as much information. His goal is to mingle among the good people and the bad to acquire information. For the people of the North, if one piece of useful information comes for every 100 pieces, that is enough. As for the thing that I am talking about, it is a secret that I heard one month ago.”
Qing Le stood up once more and walked toward Feng Yu Heng’s bedside and leaned forward slightly. The two stared at each other, as though it was a contest. They stared at one another for half a stick of incense in time before Qing Le was the first to look away.
But in the instant that she straightened up her body, Feng Yu Heng was surprised to see a trace of cloudiness in Qing Le’s eyes. That cloudiness covered up the light in her eyes. In the blink of an eye, it made her look less sharp.
“I can’t tell you. Why should I tell you?” Qing Le tilted her head and looked at Feng Yu Heng, the cloudiness remaining in her eyes; however, it seemed that she was doing her best to combat this cloudiness. She struggled and managed to say: “Feng Yu Heng, I came here today to bid you farewell. With the relationship that we have, on what basis do you hope for me to tell you such an important thing? Haha!” Qing Le suddenly let out a laugh, as her body swayed. She did her best to maintain her balance, saying: “Feng Yu Heng, oh, Feng Yu Heng, just go North. If you go, you won’t be able to return!” When she spoke, she pulled out her own handkerchief and wiped her face before throwing it forward.
The handkerchief was too light and fluttered to the ground. Qing Le began laughing even harder.
Huang Quan barged in from the outside and furrowed her brow while looking at Qing Le. She just saw Feng Yu Heng wave her hand and say to Huang Quan: “Get some money for her. Just treat it as money that our young master paid for a prostitute then send her back.”
Huang Quan nodded and did not say anything before picking Qing Le up and leaving. Feng Yu Heng, however, looked down at the handkerchief then picked it up.
It was a white handkerchief. At the bottom corner, there was a white flower that was light and beautiful. Feng Yu heng did not have too much of an understanding of this type of flower. She placed the handkerchief on the table and began to think about what Qing Le had said.
It was not that she was not curious what the matter Qing Le was speaking of. it was just that she did not know if she should trust something that had come from Qing Le’s mouth. It was as Qing Le had said, given their relationship, could she hope for anything from the other?
Huang Quan returned very quickly and told Feng Yu Heng: “Five taels were paid. Five taels for a low-class prostitute is already quite high. I figure that it’s enough to request her five times.”
Feng Yu Heng facepalmed, how cheap!
“What is this?” Huang Quan saw the handkerchief on the table. Picking it up, she inspected it for a while then said: “This cottonrose hibiscus flower embroidery is really quite beautiful.”
“What flower?” Feng Yu Heng suddenly turned around and asked Huang Quan: “What flower did you say was embroidered?”
Huang Quan told her: “It’s a cottonrose hibiscus.”
Feng Yu Heng stared at the handkerchief and suddenly understood what Qing Le was talking about. A white handkerchief with a cottonrose hibiscus embroidered on it. Cottonrose hibiscus… “Bai Fu Rong.” She tapped her head. In regards to this conclusion, she was not too willing to accept it. When she left the military camp, she had joking said to Xuan Tian Ming to stay away from Bai Fu Rong; however, she never thought that these words were not baseless.
“What’s wrong with the Bai family’s young miss?” Huang Quan was puzzled.
Feng Yu Heng waved her hand. This matter was a little unexpected, and she had not really managed to react. But back when Wang Chuan had gone to look for Xiang Rong, Xiang Rong coincidentally ended up injuring her foot. This led to Bai Fu Rong taking her spot in the military camp. In truth, she had already faintly realized that something was off back then. It was just that she could not think much about it. After all, she trusted Bai Fu Rong too much.
“Young miss, should Qing Le be gotten rid of? What if she spouts some nonsense…”
“No need.” Feng Yu Heng shook her head then recalled severe cloudiness in Qing Le’s eyes right before leaving: “Qing Le has already gone insane. Who would trust a crazy person.”
Although it was said like this, even though she was going insane, she had done her best to fight the illness, managing to leave a handkerchief behind… “Qing Le.” Feng Yu Heng let out a long sigh, “Forget it. Before we left, Xuan Tian Ming sent a letter to Qing Zhou. When we get off the boat, there should be someone to welcome us. Go tell the person that welcomes us to come up with a way to save Qing Le. Find a doctor to examine and treat her.”
Huang Quan did not know why Feng Yu Heng would suddenly help Qing Le, but she did not have time to worry about these things. She was a little anxious and asked Feng Yu Heng: “Young miss, the plan that you set in place earlier, does it have to be implemented like that?”
TN: Bai Fu Rong’s name would directly translate to white cottonrose hibiscus.
Bai = White
Fu Rong = Cottonrose hibiscus