No Money? Then Go Borrow Some!
“What?” The matriarch immediately felt her mind explode, “One million taels?”
Feng Jin Yuan felt that the matriarch’s reaction was a little too exaggerated and quickly consoled her: “Mother do not get angry. You absolutely must not sprain your back again.”
“I have A-Heng to take care of my back. There is no need for you to worry about it. Tell me, what do you need one million taels for?”
Feng Jin Yuan understood the matriarch and even knew how hard it was to get money from her. The reason the previous 50 thousand had been easy to get was because the matriarch was at least a little understanding and knew that it was important to plan for the future. All of the court officials had donated money, so the Feng family could not fall behind given that he was a standard first rank official. But wasn’t the difference between 50 thousand and one million too large?
“Mother.” He gritted his teeth and spoke with the matriarch, “It is related to the third prince.”
The Feng matriarch shook her head vigorously like a pellet drum, “There is not that much money. What do you take the manor’s treasury for? One million taels is something only a wealthy family like the Chen family can pull out. Think about it for yourself, how much do you earn in a year? How much do our shops earn in a year? What are the daily expenses of the manor? How could I possibly take out one million.”
“But the matter with the third prince is an urgent matter!” Feng Jin Yuan could not stop himself from becoming anxious, “Son has already promised to give his Highness one million taels for him to spend. Mother, you also know that the Winter disaster this year was severe. For even the capital to have suffered so much, who knows what happened outside. At that time, the reason we chose the third prince, was it not because he was a man with great plans. The preparations he made outside were things that we had acknowledged!”
The matriarch knew he was speaking about the military being raised by the third prince. There was no mistake, that was one of the third prince’s assets. It was also the most basic reason the Feng family had chosen to fight alongside him. But… “I heard that the third prince’s official princess’ illness has been cured. That combined with Chen Yu’s current situation, what hope is left there?”
Feng Jin Yuan felt that the matriarch being able to ask such a question meant that things were most likely still open for discussion. Thus he quickly said: “Mother, do not worry. Son has already sent someone to find a medicine to deal with Chen Yu’s problem. Apparently, there is word among the people that there is a drug that will allow a girl to be restored.”
The matriarch’s heart was moved slightly and followed up with a question: “Is there really such a thing?”
“There really is.” Feng Jin Yuan gritted his teeth and made the promise, “The Feng family has developed Chen Yu for this many years, so we definitely will not allow her to become a waste.
“But Chen Yu is currently the daughter of a concubine.” The matriarch remembered an important matter. She could not help but complain about Yao shi, “That Yao shi as well, she already regained her position as head wife, yet she still wanted that divorce. With that, not only did you lose face, Chen Yu’s position is also awkward!”
Feng Jin Yuan naturally understood this concept. He also knew that the third prince would not want a daughter of a concubine to be his official princess, much less inherit the throne. When has the daughter of a concubine ever become the Empress? But he was not as pessimistic as the matriarch. When this situation had first occurred, he had been upset for a while. More recently, however, he had a new plan.
He smiled faintly and comforted the matriarch, saying: “Chen Yu’s position is only awkward for the time being. Since son left her alive, son will naturally plan more around her. Mother, just relax. Let son first handle gathering the one million taels promised to his Highness the third prince. The other things will be handled when the time comes.”
He felt that his words would inevitably lead to success. The matriarch should trust his words and nod to him. She would at most say a few more words of advice then hand down an order to go fetch the money from the treasury.
But who could have thought that the matriarch would nod in satisfaction and praise: “You are a person with great plans. I am at ease.” She then followed up by saying: “But the manor truly does not have that much money.”
Feng Jin Yuan nearly collapsed. Were the words he had just said for nothing? Would everything come to a close because she said there was no money?
He helplessly looked at the matriarch, “Mother, do you know how those words of not having money will affect son’s future?
The matriarch nodded, “I haven’t gone senile and am clear on such things. But you also must know that the manor’s funds were previously managed by Chen shi. There was also the daily assistance from the Chen family. Now that that source has been cut off, where do you want me to find one million taels? Also, when Chen shi managed the manor’s funds, our manor did not lack for food or clothing, but the amount of money that could be seen was limited as well. She liked to send trinkets to entice people, and she sent plenty of nice things to me, but when had she ever gifted money?”
Hearing the analysis from the matriarch, Feng Jin Yuan’s heart chilled. He could not help but sigh, “How should this matter be settled?”
The matriarch, however, pointed to a road out: “In truth, it is not completely hopeless. You can find someone to borrow from.”
“Think about it. In the manor presently, who has the most money?”
Feng Jin Yuan’s heart trembled then said: “Mother is saying… A-Heng?”
“Un.” The matriarch looked at him and said: “It must be said that if someone in the Feng family truly could pull out one million taels, it would only be A-Heng. But as her father, going to her directly and asking for it is not possible. Most of the money in her hands came from his Highness the ninth prince. If you took it, I fear that problems would come in the days that follow. But you can go borrow it. Write up a contract and when the crisis has passed, you can return it. Like this, there is possibility for discussion.”
Feng Jin Yuan felt his head swell. He did not even want to speak to Feng Yu Heng, yet he had to go borrow money from that girl? Was this not mucking about?
“No, not possible.” He subconsciously shook his head, “This method can not be done.”
The matriarch stopped smiling and had an impatient look: “With just a bit of difficulty you back away? You have great ambitions, but you don’t even want to understand the situation in the manor, so how will you handle the matters in court?”
Hearing the matriarch yell this, Feng Jin Yuan was woken up.
But was this not correct? If he could not handle matters at home, could he possibly hope to have his daughter ascend to the seat of the Empress and have him be the father-in-law to the Emperor?
“If you want to accomplish great things, not only do you need to be bold, you also need to know when to lower you head and bend at the waist.” The matriarch spoke, with each word engraving itself into Feng Jin Yuan’s heart.
He felt that this matriarch had become more astute than before. She also seemed to be more far-sighted. In regards to money, she was no longer as greedy at before. She was even able to give him an idea at a time like this and say such inspiring words.
Feng Jin Yuan was a little moved. Standing up, he suddenly felt that borrowing money from Feng Yu Heng was no longer a big issue. The matriarch was right. If he wanted to become a person who did great things, he had to be able to lower his head and bend at the waist.
He bowed deeply to the matriarch: “Mother has taught son a memorable lesson.”
The matriarch nodded, her eyes filled with boundless expectations.
Watching Feng Jin Yuan depart, granny Zhao went over to the matriarch’s side with medicine that had been personally prescribed by Feng Yu Heng. Four small capsules with rice wine and water to wash it down, the matriarch was very accustomed to it.
“Having master go speak with second young miss is a bit difficult.” Granny Zhao saw that the matriarch was still frowning, so she knew that the matriarch was still worried.
The matriarch naturally understood this, but she let out a sigh and helplessly said: “Otherwise, what else can be done? Since he has already made his decision, our manor is now tied to the third prince. When one prospers, we all prosper. When one fails, we all fail. Now that Chen Yu is no longer the same Chen Yu as before, using her as a bargaining chip is something I fear we can not do with confidence. In the end, the Feng family still relies on Jin Yuan. Only if he does well will Chen Yu’s aspect of the phoenix not be wasted. Otherwise, what can be accomplished relying entirely on one girl?” The matriarch took the medicine in granny Zhao’s hand and thought about Feng Yu Heng before saying: “Unfortunately, that Taoist Zi Yang was certain that the aspect of the phoenix was Chen Yu. How great would it be if it were A-Heng.”
Granny Zhao consoled her: “Elder madam, do not worry. It seems that master already has a plan; otherwise, he could not protect eldest young miss so much.”
“Hmph.” Upon hearing mention of Chen Yu, the matriarch became unhappy, “If it were not for her aspect of the phoenix, I would not keep her around.” Thinking a little more, however, she began to worry, “Say, if Chen Yu really does make great progress, would she turn back around and bear a grudge with the Feng family?”
Granny Zhao was startled from hearing this. She had begun to feel that the eldest young miss did not favor the Feng family for a long time, especially given the way she would sometimes look at people. It always left her feeling slightly awkward. Comparatively, it was second young miss who was more frank. She liked what she liked, and she disliked what she disliked. Although she was just as vicious, it was better than the inconsistency of the eldest young miss.
“You also have this sort of concern, right?” The matriarch could tell that something was off based on granny Zhao’s expression. She quietly snorted, “In the end, did we raise a phoenix or an ungrateful child. Sooner or later, a day will come where we will find out. It is quite unfortunate that the ninth prince’s body was crippled; otherwise, the Feng family’s future could potentially have rested on A-Heng!”
Feng Jin Yuan exited Shu Ya courtyard and went straight towards Liu courtyard. Having been inspired by the matriarch, he impulsively went to borrow money from Feng Yu Heng right away, but Shu Ya courtyard was truly too far from Liu courtyard. As he approached Liu courtyard, the impulse had died down. With the excitement gone, he was once again filled with worry.
Borrowing money from Feng Yu Heng would definitely result in being taunted, right? He thought about how a dignified standard first rank official would actually stoop to asking his daughter to borrow money! This was not the same as taking it from Chen Yu’s hands. One was taking and the other was borrowing. He might even need to sign an agreement. What face would he have left?
Moreover, going to Tong Sheng pavilion meant he would need to face Yao shi, who had held an imperial decree and loudly declared her intent to divorce him. This made it impossible for him to raise his head before the other officials of the court. If it were known to Yao shi that he was going to borrow money from Feng Yu Heng, who knows how much he would be looked down upon.
Feng Jin Yuan stopped walking and looked towards the partially-closed moon gate before him, as he stopped his plan of attack.
Was he still going?
He was not going, right!
How about thinking it over a bit more?
Thinking it over, he decided to contemplate even more. Either way, he had told the third prince that he would deliver it before leaving the capital. He still had three days. It was enough for him to carefully think it over.
Confirming his decision, Feng Jin Yuan turned to walk back. Only when he returned to Pine courtyard did he feel some regret. He had already reached Liu courtyard’s gate, so why did he not go in.
If he had gone in earlier, perhaps things would have already been concluded, right?
Upon thinking of this, his mood became complicated.
Taking a few more laps around his study, he recalled something the matriarch had mentioned earlier. He immediately stopped and called into the air: “Hidden guard.”
A human figure immediately appeared before him.
“How are things going with the matter we discussed last time?”
The hidden guard had a defeated expression and shook his head, saying: “This servant is incompetent. That medicine… is hard to find in this world.”
Feng Jin Yuan’s heart became tense, as his expression became ugly, “Did you not say that the brothel would have it?”
“This servant has failed his duties.” The hidden guard did not explain further, as he admitted his mistakes.
Feng Jin Yuan’s heart became cold. He knew that the medicine was nothing more than a rumor. Being able to find it would be abnormal. Not being able to find it was normal. But, without that medicine, how would Chen Yu pass through that critical situation? Next year, next year, she would be of marriageable age?
But he did not know that, at this time, Chen Yu was also worrying about the same problem. But she suddenly recalled the words Feng Yu Heng had said that day: Eldest sister, I dare make a bet with you that you will give me even more money in the days to come!
She seemed to have understood something and suddenly stood up. She called Yi Lin: “Come, we are going to Tong Sheng pavilion!”