The Means of Earning Money Must not be Lost
Ever since Fen Dai became engaged to the fifth prince, she would occasionally receive gifts sent by the fifth prince’s palace, and Han shi would remind her to absolutely not forget to curry favor with the matriarch. In this manor, one always needed an elder to stand on their side. Only like this could they prosper.
A few days prior, Fen Dai had received a glass-type jade bracelet from the fifth prince. Thinking of how Chen shi had previously gifted prayer beads of a similar material to the matriarch, it should be very well received by the matriarch, thus she treated it like a treasure and gave it to her. The matriarch truly liked it and immediately wore it on her wrist. Ever since then, she never removed it once, and she was even wearing it now.
But Feng Yu Heng said that the amazonyte on Chen Yu’s head was more valuable than glass-type jade, so the matriarch’s expression became a little uglier, and her hand subconsciously moved to her wrist. The sleeves that had clearly been rolled up the past few days to flaunt the bracelet, but now she pulled her arms in for fear that others would see it.
As for Feng Chen Yu, she had much more experience in currying favor with the matriarch than Fen Dai. Hearing the matriarch’s question, she immediately understood that the amazonyte ornaments were the target of interest. Although she was a little unwilling, for the sake of her slowly recovering position within the Feng family, she still felt it was worth it.
Thus she removed the ornament without saying another word then carried it over to the matriarch “Granddaughter truly did not know that this was so valuable. I only wore it because I felt it was beautiful. If I knew earlier that it was more valuable that glass-type jade, granddaughter would have been reluctant to wear it and would have offered it to grandmother sooner. But now is not too late. It is thanks to second sister for the information, so grandmother, please keep it.”
Her words were reasonable and courteous, causing the matriarch’s heart to feel warm. Grabbing Chen Yu’s hand, she said: “It really is eldest granddaughter who is most understanding. It has always only been you who has been reasonable.” As she said this, she received the ornament. Feeling that it was mild, she knew it was a good item.
“His Highness the eldest prince is often out traveling around and often runs into nice things. Granddaughter is indebted to his Highness for his concern in often sending thing to enjoy. Granddaughter always thinks about what grandmother would like upon receiving gifts. Granddaughter only keeps what remains.” Chen Yu said this and took back the ornament, placing it directly on the matriarch’s head, “Wearing it, grandmother is very beautiful.”
Feng Yu Heng nearly vomited.
She truly admired Feng Chen Yu’s ability to curry favor with others. The ornament was clearly only suited to young women. With its blue color, it looked very out of place on the matriarch. It was truly too ugly, but she still said these lies with a straight face. The praise caused the matriarch to smile from ear to ear.
Huang Quan also trembled, as she heard the matriarch ask: “Is it a little too gaudy?”
She originally did not intend to say gaudy and wanted to say that it made her look young, but she was too embarrassed to say it. The matriarch was too embarrassed to say it, so Chen Yu simply continued to talk along those lines: “How could it be gaudy? Lake blue is the most tranquil. It’s better that grandmother wears it than Chen Yu.”
The matriarch repeatedly nodded. Rubbing her hands together, she pushed the bracelet further up her arm.
Feng Yu Heng had taken notice of that bracelet much earlier. The matriarch did not have such a thing before, and the only glass-type jade that she had was the prayer beads from Chen shi. After Chen shi died, she felt it best to separate herself from it and threw it into the warehouse. She thought that the bracelet should have been gifted from Han shi’s side and not from Chen Yu, thus she mentioned the bit about amazonyte.
Unexpectedly, Feng Fen Dai exploded “Grandmother, how is eldest sister understanding? As I see it, she is the one who understands the rules the least in our manor!”
The matriarch was startled, what was being said? She could not help but ask: “Where did your eldest sister not follow the rules?” Ever since Feng Jin Yuan left the capital, Chen Yu was acting better and better with each passing day. There were times that she was so good that it almost caused her to forget about what had happened at Feng Tong county.
Chen Yu was also puzzled by Fen Dai’s sudden irritation. With a face full of grief, she said: “When did elder sister cause younger sister any unhappiness?”
Feng Fen Dai rolled her eyes at her and said: “This I do not dare say! No matter what eldest sister does to me, as the younger sister, I do not have the right to resist. But eldest sister, you do not have me as your only younger sister! Now that second sister has returned to the manor, why are you still like this?”
Chen Yu did not understand what she meant, “What am I like?”
“Your clothes!” Pointing towards Chen Yu, she said to the matriarch: “Grandmother, Fen Dai is also engaged to a prince, and his Highness the fifth prince sends plenty of gifts, but grandmother please look, where do Fen Dai’s clothes look the slightest bit excessive? The fabrics I received a few days ago were sent to a tailor to be made into clothes for grandmother, and I did not even dare wear them for myself. But eldest sister dresses herself like this, is she an equal with second sister? Second sister is our Feng family’s daughter of the first wife! Isn’t eldest sister viewing herself as the daughter of the first wife with the way she dresses herself?”
Once these words were spoken, the matriarch and Chen Yu were both stunned.
Fen Dai, however, added: “At the time second sister was demoted from daughter of the first wife to daughter of a concubine, she was sent straight out of the capital. Even after she returned to the manor, the clothes she wore could not be compared to before. Why is it that eldest sister does not feel like the daughter of a concubine at all?”
Chen Yu was rendered completely speechless.
Feel like the daughter of a concubine? She never thought of herself as a daughter of a concubine from the Feng manor. After that place had been healed, she felt even more strongly that she should be the eldest daughter of the first wife.
But Fen Dai’s words clearly reminded her that she was not, and she could not even wear nice clothing because she had to maintain her status as the daughter of a concubine.
She lowered her head, and two tears fell from her eyes. The matriarch felt distressed from looking at her, but Feng Yu Heng was seated right at her side, so she could not say anything biased. For a while, she did not make a sound.
Chen Yu saw that the matriarch did not defend her, so she knew that she had to handle this matter on her own. Slightly sighing to herself, she raised her head and said with slightly reddened eyes: “Fourth sister is correct. Elder sister was excessive.” Saying this, she turned to Feng Yu Heng and knelt, saying: “It was all eldest sister’s mistake. I hope second sister will not blame me, and…. eldest sister will change out of these clothes later.”
Feng Yu Heng did not say anything and instead looked at the matriarch.
The matriarch saw her looking towards herself and did not understand what the meaning was. Looking again at Chen Yu’s grief-filled appearance, she could not help but feel distressed.
“We are all family, so how come you’re kneeling?” The matriarch said to Chen Yu: “Quickly get up. What would outsiders think if they saw this.” She then glared at Fen Dai and said: “The clothes your eldest sister is wearing are all from his Highness the eldest prince. Since his Highness sent them, that means they must be worn. Regardless of the rules…” As she said this, she looked again at Feng Yu Heng “If the princes say to wear them, then can our small prime minister’s manor refuse?”
Feng Yu Heng smiled, “Anything grandmother says is correct.”
Fen Dai pondered quickly then said: “Ah! Then it seems that I made a mistake in understanding. Then I can wear all the things his Highness the fifth prince sent? I originally felt that it would not be good for the daughter of a concubine like me to wear such things. Only then did I give them to grandmother. Since grandmother said that we can wear them if they were gifted by a prince, so Fen Dai will not be modest in the future.”
Once this was said, it was equivalent to cutting off one of the matriarch’s means of income. The matriarch was very distressed! But the things that she had said were not easy to take back. She could only helplessly nod, as a sad expression appeared on her face. Looking again at Chen Yu, her face was no longer as happy as it had been earlier.
Chen Yu silently hated Fen Dai. Gritting her teeth, she decided to say: “Grandmother sympathizes with us sisters, but we can not ignore the Feng manor. If word were to spread, it would not be good for our reputation. The things that can not be worn were mistaken by me. Fourth sister, you absolutely must not learn to do such bad things from elder sister.” Saying this, she turned to the matriarch and solemnly said: “Granddaughter recognizes her mistake and thanks grandmother for not handing out a punishment. From this day forward, I definitely abide by the rules for the daughter of a concubine. Either way, it will be kept in storage. Grandmother, please keep it.”
These words pushed the good items back to the matriarch. It also meant that the number of nice things that would be sent her way would increase.
After saying this, she did not forget to drag Fen Dai along: “Fourth sister will not refuse, right? Thinking about it, his Highness the fifth prince must have sent plenty of things that can not be used.”
Fen Dai’s face turned blue from anger. She clearly wanted to take a shot at Chen Yu, but how did she end up hitting herself? She could not help but look towards Feng Yu Heng, “Second sister, how about you say something!”
Feng Yu Heng blinked a few times, “What does fourth sister want to hear me say?”
Fen Dai rolled her eyes: “Naturally, I want to hear what second sister thinks about how we are dressed. Younger sister still needs to go practice dance in a while, so I ask second sister not to beat around the bush and make a clear statement.”
“Oh.” She nodded but said in confusion: “Didn’t younger sister just accuse eldest sister of being excessive? Now that eldest sister has made her position clear, how could you want to hear my opinion?”
“You…” Fen Dai panted with anger, “You really have the heart to make us put away these nice things without using them and only look at the nice clothes without wearing them?”
Feng Yu Heng shrugged: “What otherwise? A daughter of a concubine must keep her status clear. This was something you said. Elder sister agrees completely.”
Fen Dai was completely speechless. The rock she had picked up had smashed into her own foot. This defeat was truly awkward.
She was unhappy, and she hated Feng Chen Yu even more. Unable to endure, she once again picked at that matter “What is the use in dressing well? You receive presents from others all day, but you do not check to see if you still have the right! You always say that everything is for the benefit of the Feng family, and that we must consider the Feng family’s face. Tell me, as a wilted flower, you still dare to speak about the face of the Feng family? Eldest sister, I am truly afraid. I fear that you will someday marry a prince, and your scandal becomes exposed. At that time, everyone in our Feng manor will go to hell with you!”
Once Fen Dai finished speaking, the matriarch was once again agitated, as though she had seen Chen Yu’s matter become exposed follow by the execution of the entire Feng family.
How could she have forgotten! How had she let Chen Yu muddle her? No matter how many nice things there were and no matter how beautiful she was, they could not cover up her ruined body!
The matriarch sighed to herself. What should she do? What should she do?
But Chen Yu did not appear to suffer or fear as Fen Dai had hoped. She only revealed a slight shock, as though she did not understand what she heard. As though she did not understand what Fen Dai said, she blankly asked: “Fourth sister, these words… what do you mean? What wilted flower? Elder sister has not yet married, so these words absolutely must not be said!”
“Stop pretending!” Fen Dai hated that she could not tear off Chen Yu’s face, “Feng Chen Yu, no matter how you pretend, you can not pretend that you have a virgin body!”
Just as she said this, a servant ran in before Feng Chen Yu could say a word. In a hurry, she reported: “Elder madam, a person came from the palace to pass along an imperial instruction from her Highness the Empress. They are already coming towards Shu Ya courtyard!”