The Truth of the Li Palace
Fen Dai’s words caused Han shi’s heart to shudder. She never thought that she would think the position as the Li Palace’s secondary princess would not be enough. This girl actually wanted to take the position as official princess.
It had to be known that she did not know that she was a mere daughter of a concubine!
“Do you still believe that it’s so easy to become the head wife of the prime minister’s manor?” Han shi had no choice but to speak the truth to allow Fen Dai to sober up a little, “At the time Yao shi was the head wife, she had the support of the Yao family, which your father relied on. After that, when Chen shi was the head wife, that was because the Chen family provided your father with a financial backing. What do I have? Don’t keep hoping on my belly. Even if I give birth to a son, I can not possibly become the head wife.”
Everything Han shi said was the truth, but Fen Dai did not believe this to be the case “Previously, you did not have a backing, but don’t you have one now?” She looked at Han shi with a bewitching gaze, “Now, you have the backing of the engagement to the Li Palace, so his Highness Prince Li is our reliable mountain.”
“But…” Han shi was stunned for a while, feeling that Fen Dai’s words were not completely unfounded, but she was not the only daughter with an engagement! “Second young miss also has an engagement to a prince.”
“Does she still count?” Fen Dai rolled her eyes at Han shi, “Feng Yu Heng is already the daughter of the first wife, and Yao shi has already divorced father. Not to mention her failing to heal ninth prince’s legs, even if she did, what of it? A woman who is already divorced, what is there to fear?”
“What you said is true.” Han shi’s thoughts became lively, “Eldest young miss is now a good for nothing. It seems your father still wanted to rush around for her, but he then went to relieve the disaster in the North. Thinking about it, he should not have any time to worry about her. There is naturally no need to fear a good for nothing.”
“If you can think this way, then that’s good!” Fen Dai patted Han shi’s shoulder in satisfaction. She had wanted to give a few words of advice, but she did not think that at this time, the sound of a horse neighing would sound, as the horse pulling the carriage was given a fright. It raised its front hooves causing the entire carriage to lean backwards.
“Ah!” Fen Dai and Han shi both screamed in unison. The people inside the carriage followed the carriage and fell backwards, causing the two masters and two servants to become dazed.
Following the horse putting its hooves back down, the carriage also lurched forward. This caused the four people in the carriage to fall through the curtains. If they had not grabbed onto the frame of the carriage, they would have fallen onto the streets.
“You damnable creature! How are you driving?” Fen Dai rushed to curse at the driver, but when she looked more carefully, where was there still a driver to be found. The driver had fallen onto the ground much earlier. Fortunately, the horse had finally calmed down and stopped rushing about. This allowed the people in the carriage to let out a sigh of relief.
Han shi was the first to raise her head and look forward. Upon looking, her eyebrows pulled together. Grabbing hold of Fen Dai, she quietly said: “Look.”
Fen Dai looked forward in confusion and noticed a person standing in front of the carriage. It was a servant girl. She held a whip in one hand and a small dog in the other. She had a wildly arrogant expression, as she looked towards their carriage. The hand that was holding the whip pointed towards their horse, as she shouted: “Beast! You nearly trampled my master’s puppy. See if I won’t call for someone to slaughter you!”
The horse stood in front of the servant and seemed to fear the whip and did not dare move.
Only then did Fen Dai realize that the earlier fright given to the horse had come from a person!
She immediately became furious and simply stood up in the carriage. Pointing at the girl, she said: “What sort of thing are you? Is this young miss’ horse something you can insult?”
The servant looked up at Fen Dai. Looking at this young miss’ clothes, she did not see anything of note about her. Even the carriage she sat in was quite plain, so she did not take note of it. In fact, she even responded with insults: “What sort of thing are you? This girl scolded it for being a beast, what does it have to do with you?”
“You dare to insult me?” Fen Dai stared wide-eyed, truly not daring to believe it. She was, after all, the daughter of the prime minister. Even if she was the daughter of a concubine, she was still more noble than a young miss from a common official’s family. In the manor, it would be fine if the matriarch said a few things, but she never thought that she would suffer such indignation from an unknown girl? “Bastard!” Fen Dai’s face turned green with anger, “I am the fourth young miss of the dignified prime minister’s manor. Is that someone you can afford to insult?”
Once these words came out, the servant was truly given a startle. She then began to consider the weight of the fourth young miss from the prime minister’s manor.
After taking it into consideration, she could not help but be a little surprised. She did not think she had offended a person with such a background. For a while, she did not know what she should do, so she could only turned around and look towards the carriage behind her.
Very clearly, her master sat inside that carriage. At that time, another servant lifted the curtain, allowing the person inside to look out.
Fen Dai met that girl’s gaze and felt that girl’s facial features were very sharp, and she had an unruliness that was written all over her face.
And that woman also saw her, yet she let out a “pft” and laughed. She then raised her hand, having her driver move a little closer to Fen Dai’s side. Only when the two were closer did that woman speak: “The young miss of a concubine from the prime minister’s manor? What of it? When had the family of an official dared to conflict with the family of a prince?”
Han shi was given a scare and quickly pulled at Fen Dai, quietly saying: “Don’t say any more. She is a member of the Imperial family.”
Fen Dai was a little scared, and her face paled slightly, but she did not feel reconciled. Instead, she asked: “Which prince’s family are you?”
The woman smiled and said, “The Li Palace’s.”
“The Li Palace?” Han shi and Fen Dai both asked in unison then froze in place.
Some of the citizens on the road nearby began to discuss this: “I heard that Prince Li brought another concubine into his palace a few days ago. Thinking about it, it should be this one. They all say that the new ones are favored. Looking at her, you can tell.”
Fen Dai heard this and suddenly began laughing loudly. She then pointed at the woman and said arrogantly: “The concubine of the Li Palace? That’s perfect. Get out of the carriage and come salute me.”
The servant holding the puppy lost it and hastily asked: “You want the prince’s woman to salute you?”
“What?” Fen Dai smiled and looked at the servant, “She is nothing but a concubine. Speaking of standing, she is not even comparable to a servant like you. Isn’t saluting me something that should be done?”
“Even if she is a concubine, she is a prince’s concubine!” The servant was incredibly infuriated and loudly said: “Do you understand what it means to be the Prince’s woman? In the future, she will need to bear an imperial child for Da Shun!”
Fen Dai looked at the servant and felt that she would enjoy saying what was to come. Unable to endure, she raised her head then loudly said: “Even then, so what? No matter when it is, she will still need to come pay respects to me! An insignificant concubine meeting the future secondary princess, yet you still do not kneel?”
Upon hearing these words, the woman in the opposing carriage froze for an instant. At this time, a granny at her side whispered something into her ear, and the woman cast a stunned gaze towards Fen Dai.
Fen Dai proudly looked at the opposition, and her feeling of superiority swelled. She could not help but press her: “Hurry! Come kowtow to me.”
But the other side did not do as she desired. Not only did she not kowtow, she even began giggling. Even if this laugh was not as arrogant, it was abnormally harsh. In fact, as she was laughing, some of the citizens nearby laughed with her.
The sound of this laughter echoed in Fen Dai and Han shi’s ears. Listening to it caused their hairs to stand on end.
Pei’er gently tugged at Fen Dai from the side and quietly said: “Young miss, this servant feels that something does not feel right.”
Fen Dai asked: “What does not feel right?”
Before the two could continue to speak, they heard Prince Li’s concubine open her mouth and shout: “Secondary princess? And a future one? But even if you entered the palace now, what of it? Granny Wu” She turned her head to the old maid at her side, “How many secondary princesses are there in our manor?”
The granny counted then replied: “Presently, there are nine in the palace. There are another three that have been sent to residences outside the capital.”
“Un.” The woman nodded, “One after another, this is a scene that repeats itself every half a year.” She said this while raising her head to look at Fen Dai. She then actually asked her: “Tell me, what use is there in becoming a secondary princess?”
Fen Dai was dazed by what she said. What did she mean by one after another? What did she mean by a scene that repeats itself every half a year?
Also, just now the granny’s voice had not been quiet. She had also heard the shocking number. Was she speaking about the Li Palace’s secondary princesses?
Han shi could tell that something was not quite right. She could not be considered too stupid, as she immediately recalled why the matriarch had expressed such an attitude towards the discussion of marriage to the Li Palace. She could not help but become slightly panicked, so she quickly tugged at her servant A Ju then quietly said: “Go and inquire with the citizens about what exactly is going on with the Li Palace. Remember to be discreet.”
A Ju nodded then quickly got out of the carriage.
Fen Dai continued to stand on the carriage, completely at a loss. That woman’s words caused her to feel an extremely great shock. The feeling was like instantly going from a hot spring to an ice cave. Her heart had completely frozen over.
“Do you still want me to salute you?” The woman gracefully spoke and looked towards Fen Dai, “Yesterday, I heard people say that the prince ordered someone to go hand out another proposal letter. I never thought that it would actually be you. It seems that you’re pretty idiotic. You’re also the young miss of the prime minister’s manor, yet you actually took the title of secondary princess of the Li Palace as something of importance.” After saying this, she giggled once more. Getting out of her carriage, she entered an accessory shop.
Fen Dai stood frozen on the carriage. She was completely dazed. Han shi finally managed to drag her back into the carriage before repeatedly patting Fen Dai’s cheeks and anxiously asking: “What happened? Can you hear what I’m saying? Fourth young miss!”
Pie’er also called out to her from the side, as the two busied themselves for a long time. When Fen Dai finally showed signs of reacting, she blankly asked: “Just now, was what that woman said true?”
Before Han shi could speak, A Ju, who had gone to inquire about, entered the carriage and her eye sockets began to turn red, “Concubine mother, Prince Li, he…”
“What happened with Prince Li?” Fen Dai firmly grabbed A Ju’s arm and asked: “What did you hear?”
A Ju said with grief: “It turns out that the Li Palace has many women. It’s not just concubines. Just counting secondary princesses, there are over ten. Presently, there are nine staying at the Li Palace! Fourth young miss is still four years from becoming of marriageable age. If we count these four years, who knows how many more women will be brought into the palace. Everyone is saying that the Li Palace is even more lively than a brothel, and Prince Li acts as a newlywed bridegroom every night.”
Fen Dai was completely dazed. She had originally held the idea of making a comeback, but she did not think that the Li Palace would be in this sort of situation. She had fully expected that she could stand out, but she never thought that this good marriage was actually the joke of the entire capital. Where was she supposed to put her face?
Han shi did not think things would be like this either. She was distressed for her daughter, so she simply said: “Let’s go back to the manor. We will have elder madam cancel this engagement.”
Pei’er, however, was not as optimistic, reminding Han shi: “At that time, elder madam did not agree, but it was concubine mother and fourth young miss who insisted that she agree! Also, is an engagement to a prince something that can be canceled so easily? Concubine mother, it would be best to think a little harder for another method.”
“What other method is there?” Han shi was completely out of ideas. Holding Fen Dai’s hand, she repeatedly wiped away tears, “My pitiful child!”
“Stop crying!” Suddenly, Fen Dai swatted away Han shi’s hand. Raising the curtain, she rushed out of the carriage.