The Only One
Chen Yu never would have thought that the eldest prince, Xuan Tian Qi, would send someone to send her something. After being stunned for a long time, Yi Lin could only remind her: “Young miss, no matter what is said, it would still be best to invite them in.”
Only then did she mentally recover and ask the servant outside: “What sort of person came to send it?”
The servant replied: “It was a eunuch.”
Chen Yu nodded, “Allow him in then.”
Not long after, a young eunuch entered the room carrying a box. Arriving before Chen Yu, he was very polite with his salute then said: “This servant has come on his Highness Prince Jing’s orders to give the eldest young miss Feng a crystal head accessory. We hope that eldest young miss Feng will kindly accept it.”
Chen Yu was extremely surprised, “Crystal head accessory?”
The young eunuch seemed to be very satisfied with Chen Yu’s reaction, as he said with a smile: “This crystal was a treasure his Highness Prince Jing acquired from craftsman Zong Sui. His Highness said that only the Feng family’s eldest young miss was worthy of wearing it.”
These compliments nearly caused Chen Yu to float into heaven. She had originally been born extremely beautiful. This smile caused even the eunuch who had come to deliver the gift to feel that the eldest young miss Feng was truly had a well-deserved reputation.
Thus, the box in his hand was handed forward: “Eldest young miss, please kindly accept it.”
Chen Yu excitedly received the box and prodded Yi Lin, who was to her side: “It is cold outside. Quickly get some money and get some tea for the eunuch.”
Yi Lin was truly happy to take out a large silver ingot and handed it to the eunuch. The young eunuch did not refuse and placed it in a pocket immediately after receiving it. He then said to Chen Yu: “His Highness also said that he hopes eldest young miss Feng will accept the invitation to the Emperor’s young grandson’s birthday banquet.”
Chen Yu smiled and replied: “Naturally, would you please tell his Highness that Chen Yu likes this gift very much and thank his Highness for the grace of this gift.”
“This servant has remembered it. If eldest young miss does not have any other orders, this servant will be going.”
“Please watch your step.” Chen Yu bowed then gave Yi Lin a look to have her send him out.
When Yi Lin returned, she had opened the box and was stunned by what was inside.
A full set of white crystal head accessories that was clear and bright. It was like a treasure that did not belong in this world. It was so beautiful that it caused people to become speechless.
The two looked at this head ornament for the duration of a cup of tea. Chen Yu finally recovered slightly, but she sighed and said: “Previously, when Prince Yu gave Feng Yu Heng her betrothal gifts, there were many crystal ornaments. I was so jealous that my eyes turned red. But I did not think that a day would come where a prince would gift an entire set of head ornaments. Yi Lin, tell me, does this count as times changing?”
Yi Lin looked at the set of crystal ornaments and was a little dazed; however, she was not as baffled as the one receiving them. She recovered her wits a little faster than Chen Yu: “Young miss, this was something sent by the eldest prince!”
Chen Yu, however, did not seem to understand what she meant. She still stared at the crystal before her and said: “Although white crystal is not as rare as the pink quartz that Feng Yu Heng received, this is a full set of head ornaments! If I wore this sort of thing, perhaps I would be the only one in the world with a set.”
Yi Lin became even more afraid upon hearing these words, “Young miss, even if you are the only one in the world with a set, you must not wear it!”
“Why?” Chen Yu angrily glared, “This was something given to me. How come I can not wear it?”
“Young miss, think about it. His Highness the eldest prince has never had the slightest interaction with our Feng manor. This servant has been with the manor for so many years, yet I did not even know about Prince Jing. So why did he suddenly send such a gift to you?”
“Did you not hear what the eunuch said. It was because the eldest prince felt that only I, your young miss, am worthy of this set of ornaments.”
“Those are merely compliments!” Yi Lin was panicked to the point of stomping her feet. Her young miss seemed to have been completely blinded by the accessories. How could it be that even this sort of advice was no good?
Chen Yu had indeed been blinded. The time the Yu Palace had given Feng Yu Heng her betrothal gifts was something that still filled her mind. At that time, she was still the daughter of the first wife, and Feng Yu Heng had just returned to the manor. A unloved daughter of a concubine had made a formidable show of strength. She had always thought of it as the disgrace of her life. Now that she had received this set of head ornaments, although it was not enough for a full recovery, it allowed her to recover a bit of face.
“If this were sent by his Highness the seventh prince, how great would that be.” Faintly, she said this, as her face became extremely dejected.
Yi Lin became even more panicked, “Young miss, you must remember the third master’s words at all times!”
“I know.” Chen Yu calmed her expression and put the lid back on the wooden box, “Go ask around and see if the eldest prince only sent a gift to my courtyard or to all of the courtyards.”
Yi Lin saw that her young miss finally regained some of her sensibilities and calmed down slightly, “Then this servant will be going.”
Seeing the servant leave the room, Chen Yu pulled the wooden box into her arms. It seemed as though even her heart had been taken in by the set of crystal ornaments. Her mind was filled with thoughts of how she would look wearing this set of ornaments before everyone else. How dazzling would that be!
After an hour, Yi Lin returned with news for Chen Yu that caused her vain heart to grow even further: “The eldest prince only sent a gift to our courtyard. The third young miss and fourth young miss did not receive anything. As for Tong Sheng pavilion… this servant was unable to find out.”
“It’s fine.” Chen Yu did not care about the matters on Tong Sheng pavilion’s side at all, “Either way, Feng Yu Heng has plenty of nice things, so I will not go compete with her. Go prepare lunch. After eating, we can go visit grandmother.”
That day after noon, the children of the Feng family all went to Shu Ya courtyard, including Feng Yu Heng.
The matriarch had a kind expression, as she told them: “Although it is just the birthday banquet of the Emperor’s grandson, it can not be ignored. The Emperor dotes on that child greatly. When the time comes, all of the prestigious officials of the capital will be present. I fear that there will be no shortage in the number of princes going to congratulate him. You absolutely must not lose any face for the Feng family”
The four replied in unison: “Granddaughter will obey grandmother’s warnings.”
“Un.” The matriarch nodded in satisfaction, “The gift for the Emperor’s young grandson will be prepared for you by the manor. There are a total of four gifts, and the servants will send them over to your courtyards. The invitation says it will be tomorrow evening. It will be fine for you to not be late.”
Fen Dai smiled and rushed to say: “Grandmother, do not worry! We will not be late.” She said this while looking at Feng Yu Heng, “Second sister has been confined for many days and can finally leave the manor. But you must take this chance to enjoy the fresh air. Who knows when you will be confined once more.”
The matriarch lightly sighed to remind Fen Dai, but it was no longer the clear scolding that it once was.
Feng Yu Heng noticed the changes in the matriarch’s behavior and sneered internally. She then said: “Fourth sister, do not worry. Next time second sister is careless and is punished by his Majesty, it definitely not be me alone who enjoys it alone. I will definitely remember to drag along all of my sisters. If I will be confined, then we will all be confined together. Only like this will we experience harmony between sisters.”
“Who wants to experience harmony with you!” Fen Dai’s eyes lit up, “If you are punished, why would you drag us along?”
“How could I not drag you along.” Feng Yu Heng smiled and looked at Fen Dai, “Grandmother had said before that we are all members of the Feng family. Whether it is happiness or sadness, we all experience it together. Remember the five treasures that second sister received. Didn’t second sister give a handkerchief to younger sister? How come when there is something good, younger sister will take it, but when something bad happens, why can you not be tolerant of elder sister?”
“You…” Fen Dai was rendered completely speechless. She really wanted to boldly say: Then I will return my handkerchief to you. But she was not willing to. With a handkerchief made using one of the five treasures, when she married out of the family, the husband’s family would need to treat her a little better.
Thinking of this, Fen Dai turned her head away and no longer made a sound.
The matriarch watched the younger generation bicker and sighed to herself repeatedly. One was because she wondered what sin was committed that caused the Feng family to be so lacking in harmony. Second was because neither Fen Dai nor Chen Yu were capable of beating Feng Yu Heng no matter how much they competed. They were even losing when it came to battles of wit. They truly were inept.
“Enough!” She angrily waved her hand, “Arguing and bickering, the elder sister does not have the appearance of an elder sister, and the younger sister does not have the appearance of a younger sister. Have you no decency!”
Fen Dai felt that the matriarch’s attitude towards her recently had been pretty good, thus she said with grief: “It was second sister who was being unreasonable.”
The matriarch actually gave Fen Dai face. Looking at Feng Yu Heng, she said: “Your fourth sister is still young. Why are you getting mad at her?”
Feng Yu Heng blinked and smiled, “A-Heng also just turned thirteen.”
The matriarch was humiliated and did not wanted to say anything else, as she sent them back.
After they exited Shu Ya courtyard, they all headed in the directions of their own homes. Chen Yu, however, waited in place for a while. Seeing that everyone had gone far away, she went to chase after Feng Yu Heng.
Finally catching up to her, she hurriedly asked: “Second sister, the day we agreed upon has almost arrived.”
“I remember.” Feng Yu Heng gave her a reassuring smile, “When eldest sister’s menstrual cycle is completed, just come find me. Un, don’t forget to bring the money.”
Chen Yu felt a tugging at the corners of her lips and thought to herself, you’re just interested in the money, aren’t you. But she still nodded, “Don’t worry. I already have it prepared.”
On their way back to Tong Sheng pavilion, Huang Quan was a little unhappy and asked her: “Will young miss truly take care of Chen Yu’s illness? If it is taken care of, wouldn’t we have wasted our time?”
Feng Yu Heng used the response she gave Wang Chuan to respond to Huang Quan: “How could I allow her to profit so easily! She went to commit a sin, so she will need to bear the consequences. Your young miss does not have the heart of a Bodhisattva. I have remembered all of my grudges.”
The next day just before evening, as the young misses of the Feng family were preparing to leave the manor, it began snowing lightly once again. Huang Quan accompanied Feng Yu Heng out of the manor while saying to her: “There is news from the eldest prince’s side. Yesterday, he sent a set of head ornaments to Feng Chen Yu. According to the eunuch who delivered the gift, Chen Yu was very pleased.”
Feng Yu Heng smiled, “Could she be unhappy. The eldest prince has been around for 20 years and has found a great number of nice things. Any piece he presents will be worthy of applause. The things that Feng Chen Yu has seen during her life are merely things that have been sent by the Chen family. Even though the Chen family does business with the Imperial family, how could they compare with his Highness the eldest prince, who has done business in many countries.”
“Young miss, do you think the third prince will be fooled?” Huang Quan was a little worried, “That person has always been quick to doubt. This servant is a little worried.”
Feng Yu Heng slightly frowned and helplessly shook her head, “I am also worried. If Xuan Tian Ye were so easily fooled, I fear that his Majesty and Xuan Tian Ming would not have needed to keep an eye on him for all these years.”
The two spoke while walking out. Leaving through the county princess manor’s main entrance, she directly got in a carriage. The carriage was very plain, and it was not the expensive one awarded by the Emperor. Comparatively, even the carriages the three young misses from the Feng manor sat in were slightly better.
The Feng family’s young misses each sat in their own carriage, as they headed towards the Yuan Palace. Huang Quan said to Feng Yu Heng: “Feng Chen Yu is wearing very plain clothes today, and she has a bamboo hat covering her head. I do not know if it’s to block the snow or for some other reason.”
“Where is the need to block such light snow. What she is hiding is most likely the thing sent by his Highness the eldest prince. Since she is wearing a bamboo hat, the gift was most likely an accessory.” Feng Yu Heng lightly lifted the curtain and looked out. Behind her, the Feng family’s three other carriages followed closely. With the horses traveling through the snow, a beautiful scene was depicted.
Lowering the curtain, she was about to take a nap in the carriage; however, before she could lower it fully, she suddenly frowned.
Huang Quan was startled: “Young miss, what is it?”
Feng Yu Heng raised the index finger on her right hand and brought it to her lips, gesturing for her to keep quiet. Quietly, she said: “Listen.”