“Suddenly, Yun Ge thought of a desperate question; if they were not allowed to leave the courtyard, what would happen if she had to go to the restroom? Just how long were those bandits planning to make a ruckus anyhow? She couldn’t help but congratulate herself on having been sleeping up until then, so there were not many desserts in her stomach that could cause problems.”
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Chapter 1, The First Encounter – part 2.
The clouds of battle rose thickly in front of the village, and the soldiers that Consort Wu had brought along with her united with the burly guards of the manor to protect the village, with the petty criminals already infiltrating the land, bent to kill. But in the southern cloister, there was still great happiness…
Some ten beautiful young girls had gotten up early to eagerly dress themselves, just waiting for the Consort Wu to call them in. Up until noon there was still no news, and so they became a little more assertive and daring, and had secretly went to the gate of the southern cloister, searching their brains for a way to find an audience with the Consort Wu.
Alas, the security around the southern cloister was stiff, and even after twisting their tongues in efforts to sweet talk the guards, the men still refused to let them leave. Having used all their charms, the girls were disappointed, but did not have the courage to force their way out.
Just as time was dragging on, the gate suddenly sprang open, and Mother Zhang came in with a solemn expression, bringing with her some of the guards of the manor.
Mother Zhang surveyed the scene, and guessed what the girls had all congregated here for, but because the situation was so serious, she could not slowly comfort them, or send them off.
“Girls, I need you all to congregate in the flower room; without my orders, none of you may leave even half a step!” As she said this, other maids went to the other courtyards to call on the people, and at the same time brought in more soldiers to secure the location.
The southern cloister was generally the dwelling of women, with high walls and few doors, and so was the easist place to guard within the manor. At the moment there were only eighteen singers and dancers, and four women in charge of their affairs living here, without any other servants around – and so it was the perfect location for the Consort Wu to hide.
Before long, the flower room of the southern cloister was secured, and all of the girls had arrived. Although they were uncertain, they had decorated themselves brilliantly; from afar, it was impossible not to be touched by the purples and reds!
Yun Ge had just been dug out of the crowd of people, and she looked down at herself to see her common apparel, secretly spitting on the ground. She yawned and hid behind the beautiful women, and then took out a paper bag from her sleeve; there were some sweets in there that Aunt Li had kindly given her.
And so Yun Ge secretly ate behind the crowd of people. She asked a singer who she was comparatively close to, “Yueyi, what is there such a huge battle going on for?”
“I, I don’t know either, just heard that there was a lot of noise outside, and then Aunt LI told us to come over here, and said that without orders, we are forbidden to leave.” This girl called Yueyi was two years older than Yun Ge, but she was shy and gentle, and anxious at the moment, probably frightened by Mother Zhang’s attitude.
Mother Zhang was usually fair and just, and had a lot of power within the manor, it could be said that she had the power to hurt or kill other people, but she was always very kind to the girls, and so this sort of attitude had never been seen before.
Perhaps that prince felt that keeping all these women was a waste of money, and wanted to “fire” some workers? Yun Ge thought helplessly.
In the flower room, the girls were all stressed by the pressure of the anxious atmosphere, and the giggling so commonly seen had vanished.
Yun Ge, supporting Yueyi, had just leaned against a corner of the wall and sat down when the gate opened once again. Mother Zhang hurriedly lead the way, and four pretty maidens and two purple clothed men, clustered around a royal consort walked in, directly going to and settling down at the main seat of the courtyard.
Then the gate closed again, and with a quick glance Yun Ge saw that there were at least eight or nine burly men outside the gate.
What was going on?
By her ear she thought she could hear the clanging of metal attacking, and before she could ascertain her conclusion, Mother Zhang’s voice carried over – “Reporting to your ladyship, the eighteen girls of the courtyard have all arrived.”
The group of girls finally reacted to the personage in front of them, and rushed to pay their respects to the imperial consort in front of them. They had been eager to see the consort, but had never dreamed that it would be under these consequences.
Yun Ge stood at the back, sneaking looks and evaluating the imperial consort. She looked about forty, with an elegant face, just rather worried at the moment. Seeing the flock of girls bowing to her, she looked rather annoyed, and waved her hand, indicating that they could stop.
The consort swept her gaze over the girls in front of her, cleared her throat, and said, “Today, there were bandits who came to wreck havoc; for our protection, everyone must stay here with me You must not leave.”
Hearing this, the hearts of the girls pounded, but against the power of the consort, did not dare to speak.
The gears in YUn Ge’s head turned, and she understood.
She had lived in this mountain village for the greater part of a year, and had head that there was some law case for enforcing peace, and that these bandits had most likely come for the Consort Wu, and that these girls were being kept with the consort not for safety, but in case they had complicated backgrounds tat made them allies of the bandits, making them spies forthe men outside. So they would merit tight surveillance.
This southern cloister, this corner of the mountain was generally a safehouse for women, with high walls and few gates – a good place to easily defend.
Thinking of the strongmen outside, Yun Ge’s fears were somewhat alleviated; there shouldn’t be any problems…
Suddenly, Yun Ge thought of a desperate question; if they were not allowed to leave the courtyard, what would happen if she had to go to the restroom? Just how long were those bandits planning to make a ruckus anyhow? She couldn’t help but congratulate herself on having been sleeping up until then, so there were not many desserts in her stomach that could cause problems.
As they watched, the sun approached the west, but there was no news of a retreating enemy. In the courtyard the girls could hardly protect themselves from the anxious atmosphere and had began to sob, and the consort’s expression became progressively darker.
Mother Zhang walked to the side of the consort, said a few words softly. The consort nodded and Mother Zhang left to get some news.
After a while she returned, and it was apparent that her steps were much hastier. She said a few words to the Consort Wu and the Consort Wu’s face darkened by three shades.