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   Chapter 11 Initiation

Eight-year-old Princess: Phoenix Reborn By Lan You Ruo Characters: 9568

Updated: 2018-07-21 19:53

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ISBN: 978-1719927130

Though her trip was an excuse to visit the Ningguo Temple, Yun Shang still had to pretend otherwise. As planned, she lingered at the Temple with Qin Yi and Qin Meng for a few days. But it was only on her last day there that she requested an opportunity to meet with Master Wu Na.

Master Wu Na was greatly esteemed in the State of Ning. Through his wisdom, he earned tremendous respect from the people of Ning. However, Yun Shang did not get the chance to see him. She enlisted the help of a young Buddhist monk to carry her message to the Master for a talk, but the young Buddhist monk only brought back for her an old parchment made of sheep skin from the Master. Yun Shang could not help but feel startled while reading his message. Master Wu Na was, it seems, aware of the purpose of her visit. What a clever man! It would be terribly awful if he should become her enemy one day in the future.

As Yun Shang had gotten what she wanted from this journey, she ordered Qin Yi and Qin Meng to pack up. Soon, they were on their way back to the Imperial Palace in a carriage.

Yun Shang rested on her first night back in court. The subsequent day, she rose at the fifth watch*. She ordered her maids to help her with a court dress suitable a princess as she intended to go to Jinluan Hall where Chinese Emperors held administrative meetings with their ministers and senior officials.

(*TN: In ancient China, the night was divided into five watches. The fifth watch is the last period, which comes before dawn.)

Emperor Ning was listening to his courtiers' reports when he heard the singing tone of a young eunuch announcing her arrival, "Princess Yun Shang is requesting a presence..."

Yun Shang? Emperor Ning was a little surprised. He had not expected Yun Shang at this moment when a morning meeting was being held in the court. Minsters and courtiers were also at a loss. They exchanged looks of confusion with each other.

With a slight cough, Emperor Ning said, "Call her..."

Yun Shang entered Jinluan Hall, and, after finishing the three-kneel-and-nine-kowtow etiquette* to Emperor Ning, she said, "I have something to report, Your Majesty. I visited the Ningguo Temple a couple of days ago to pray for the people. Master Wu Na gave me some revelations from Buddha. He asked me to present them to Your Majesty..."

(*TN: the three-kneel-and-nine-kowtow etiquette is the most solemn and highest rite of politeness. It is usually used in grand situations like in the presence of an Emperor or when paying tribute to parents.)

"Master Wu Na?" Emperor Ning was startled. Though just a master monk at the Ningguo Temple, Master Wu Na had once been named as the National Consultant by the previous Emperor Ning. However, Master Wu Na had turned down that honor. Master Wu Na had never practiced divination or foretold destiny for any one. But today, he sent Yun Shang to present the revelations of Buddha...

"Hurry up! Show it to me..." said Emperor Ning impatiently.

The Eunuch-in-Chief stepped away from the Emperor's side and scurried down the stairs. He fetched the parchment from Yun Shang, and presented it to Emperor Ning, who then unrolled it. The Emperor burst into ecstasy after reading it. "According to Master Wu Na, the drought of Ning has led people to a miserable life. Pitying the suffering people, Princess Yun Shang prayed with an honest heart. Due to her kindness, the benevolent Buddha will arrange a rainfall on the seventeenth day of this month. Ensure that no grand ceremony is held on that day."

"Good! Good! Good!" Emperor Ning descended from his crown chair toward Yun Shang, and hugged her. "Yun Shang, you are indeed my good daughter. Ha, ha, ha... If it really rains on that day as Master Wu Na has foretold, I will award you generously..."

With a modest smile, Yun Shang replied, "I didn't pray to earn a reward. I was just hoping that all populace under the sky would be able to live in peace and contentment. I truly believe that if the people are happy then Your Majesty will be happy. And I will be happy if Your Majesty is happy."

Emperor Ning was so thrilled to hear of Yun Shang's selflessness. But Li Jingyan wasn't. "But isn't Princess Hua Jing's Coming-of-age Ceremony being held on the seventeenth day of this month?" He spoke all of a sudden in the court.

Yun Shang felt a sense of elation at his words. She felt extra pleased to see Li Jingyan's irritation. As the Grand Councilor of Ning, he was really stupid to behave so rushed.

Emperor Ning frowned at the objection. "Both Yun Shang and Hua Jing are my daughters. Shang'er has gone all the way to the Ningguo Temple to pray for the populace. For her kindness, Buddha grants his blessing to us. As for Hua Jing's Coming-of-age Ceremony, we are

not canceling it. However, it can be a simple one to comply with Buddha's wishes."

"Long live Your Majesty. Long live Your Imperial Highness..." Cheers and acclaims prevailed in the Jinluan Hall.

When this news spread to Hua Jing's chamber at Jinglin Hall, she shivered with anger, and said with clenched teeth, "Yun Shang, you really are a bitch. I will ensure that you are miserable for as long as I live."

Seeing Hua Jing's anger, all maids and eunuchs in her chamber fell to their knees lest they anger her more. Sounds of things breaking could be heard out in the Hall. Hua Jing was so furious that she smashed everything that could be smashed in her chamber.

"Let's go to Qiwu Palace. I wanna to hear what my mother has to say." Hua Jing frowned when a dull ache spread across her bottom. The reminder of the dog bite only seemed to further aggravate her rage.

When Hua Jing arrived at Qiwu Palace, she grew more irritated when she saw Empress Yuan Zhen drinking peacefully. She ran to the Empress and took her hands. "Mother, that vile Yun Shang, she must have done this on purpose. She knew that the seventeenth day of this month is my day of Coming-of-age Ceremony. Mother, you must help me..."

Empress Yuan Zhen frowned, "Shut up. It's been a waste of time teaching you how to behave properly all these years. If I were you, I would go to your father. I would tell him how I felt inferior to Yun Shang as she has shared your father's burden while you have done nothing. However, as a Princess of the State of Ning, you are willing to do your part in to ease the nation's hardships by cancelling your Coming-of-age Ceremony which happens to be on the seventeenth day of this month..."

Hua Jing pouted and tugged at the Queen's sleeve, "Mother, this is obviously a trick by that little whore. She is jealous of my Coming-of-age Ceremony. So she designed this."

Putting down the cup, Empress Yuan Zhen shook her head, "She is just an eight-year-old girl. How could she know about all this? She cannot even read a single word. How could she speak words like that? Besides, she has been under my control all these years, and there isn't a person in her employ who can devise such an plan. This is a serious matter. We cannot speak about it as a trivial matter. I do not believe that a little girl could be capable of commanding the Heavenly God to call for rains or winds."

Hua Jing sighed, taking a seat by the Empress' side. She accepted defeat, "So I should just let it go? I hate her for this. I wish she would just die."

Empress Yuan Zhen lowered her head to look at her scarlet nails, a gentle smile dancing on her face. "There will definitely be an opportunity. Just wait and see. It's fine if it rains on the seventeenth day. If not, I won't even have to kill her myself. Someone will eliminate her for us."

"Hmm, " Hua Jing said, "It is hard to believe that it will rain on the seventeenth day of this month just because Yun Shang prayed. I'll see what that little bitch will do to cover her lies on that day. Thank you, mother. I will leave now..."

Empress Yuan Zhen nodded and then frowned at Hua Jing's ungraceful posture while getting up, "You are behaving unbecomingly. No ladies from noble families would rise to their feet like you just did. You will be deemed as a girl without grace and politeness if that was seen by outsiders."

Hua Jing's agitation returned. "That's all due to the damned Taoist priest. I meant to humiliate Yun Shang in everyone's presence, but that beast bit me instead. I cannot figure out what's going on, as the wound is always aching."

Empress Yuan Zhen had not considered this. She frowned, "Your discomfort may be because of the heat. I will ask the Imperial Physicians to prepare some medicines for you. Remember to take them on time."

"Got it. Got it..." Hua Jing waved a hasty goodbye, and walked out of Qiwu Palace.

"Your Imperial Highness. Just let it be? You agree to let Princess Yun Shang be pardoned? Your Imperial Highness is too noble and too treasured to accept such humiliation. That Princess Yun Shang is too stupid to figure out who she is." Maid Die'er was resentful and murmured her disapproval.

A coldness surged in Hua Jing's eyes when she heard this. Her expression changed from anger to rage, "Pardon her? Don't even dream about it! As mother will not help me with this, I'll do it myself. Wipe out that little bitch no matter what the cost." Hua Jing's eyes sparkled and a grin emerged as a thought occurred to her. "Come here..."

The maid walked up to Hua Jing and stood close. Hua Jing whispered something in her ear, to which the maid nodded. Then Hua Jing left. The maid looked around tentatively before turning and leaving in the opposite direction.

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