There’s Something in the Vase
When she first entered the yard, she only felt that Yao shi’s complexion was a little poor, but it was not very noticeable; therefore, she thought that it was just a lack of sleep from the cold of Winter and worrying about her children. But while she chatted with Yao shi, she would occasionally grab hold of Yao shi’s wrist, and she found that Yao shi’s situation was not as optimistic as she had hoped.
There was a certain feeling that something was regularly exhausting Yao shi’s body. With a little bit happening each day, it was neither too little nor too much. It was precisely within the range that could not be detected by doctors. Because it was not a large amount being extracted, Yao shi herself did not notice the abnormalities with her own body. In fact, she did not even feel a little uncomfortable.
She dared to ascertain that even if an imperial physician from the palace came, it would not be noticed at all. If it were not for her adding medicine to each meal based on Yao shi’s situation, perhaps she would not have even survived to this point.
Now that she had been given medicine for half a year, Yao shi’s body began regress, so she had wasted her time giving her medicine for half a year, as it seemed that she had regressed to her state when she was in the Northwest.
Beginning to ponder, she waved for a servant to come over: “Go to madam’s courtyard and call Qing Ling over. Tell her I have something to ask her.”
The servant complied and left. Not long later, she returned with Qing Ling.
Qing Ling saw that Feng Yu Heng was looking for her, so she knew that it was definitely related to Yao shi’s condition, thus she spoke in detail about it, starting with dressing her and giving her food. She also spoke about occasionally going out to visit Princess Wen Xuan, and then she spoke about receiving the letter from Xiao Zhou and rejoicing over second young master being able to return for the new year.
Feng Yu Heng listened and did not hear anything out of the ordinary. She asked Qing Ling: “The medicine I have advised you to add to madam’s food, are you still adding it?”
Qing Ling nodded, “I am still adding it without missing a single meal. As young miss requested, it is being able for all three meals and at different amounts. This servant has personally watched the chef add it.” She found that Feng Yu Heng’s expression was a little off and could not help but ask: “Has something happened?”
Feng Yu Heng shook her head, “It’s fine. It’s just been too long since I have come back, so I need to ask a little bit more.” She did not want to tell Qing Ling about it, fearing that it would add to Yao shi’s burdens, so she only said: “Tomorrow morning will be the last time you use the old medicine. I will provide a new one tomorrow. There is no need for you to tell madam about the changing of medicine, so that she will not need to worry about it.”
“Yes.” Qing Ling nodded, “This servant saw that young miss’ complexion was not good and might be tired. Young miss, please rest earlier.”
“Un.” She did not say anything else and waved for Qing Ling to leave.
She trusted Qing Ling. This girl was different from Qing Shuang. She had entered the manor earlier and had been at Yao shi’s side the entire time. The way she worked left people feeling at ease.
Since there was no problem with the medicine, then there was definitely a problem somewhere else.
That night, Feng Yu Heng did not sleep much. Her mind was a mess, as she was thinking about Yao shi’s matter. She even went with Huang Quan and Ban Zou to the kitchen to investigate. But reality proved that everything was normal at Tong Sheng pavilion’s kitchen. Even the kitchen staff and Yao shi’s servants were investigated without any problems appearing.
Then what exactly was going on?
Early the next morning, Huang Quan asked while helping her wash up: “Will we continue investigating tonight? Or will be just investigate towards the Feng manor’s side?”
Feng Yu Heng shook her head, “There’s no need. Let’s not act like headless flies and act mindlessly. Since we can not find anything out, then I will just need to put in some extra effort and help rejuvenate her. Let’s watch quietly from the side. I really do want to see who it is that dares to take action within my Tong Sheng pavilion.”
A servant knocked on the door and entered, saying to Feng Yu Heng: “A message just came from the Feng manor’s side, saying that the elder madam did not sleep well last night and is currently catching up on sleep, so there is no need for young miss to go and pay respects.”
Huang Quan chuckled and said: “That’s also good. How about young miss also catches up on some sleep?”
But the servant who had come to pass along this message continued: “Young miss, please wait until later to rest. There are currently some people waiting to see you outside.”
Feng Yu Heng was startled, “Who is it?”
The servant smiled and said: “Servants from the Wen Xuan Palace, General Ping Nan’s manor, prime minister Fung’s manor and the Bai family’s manor. They have come on behalf of their young misses to deliver things to our manor. Thinking about it, they should be gifts for the new year.”
Only then did Huang Quan recall, “That’s right. It’s the end of the year. The officials are busy with sending gifts into the palace, and the madams and young misses are also busy preparing gifts. Young miss, quickly go see what they have sent.”
Feng Yu Heng was dragged by the two servants to the hall. There, they saw four large servants, and there was a crowd of servants holding gifts at the entrance.
She recognized the four servants, as they were Xuan Tian Ge’s, Fung Tian Yu’s, Ren Xi Feng’s, and Bai Fu Rong’s personal maidservants.
Yao shi had come over a little earlier to receive them, and she was happily chatting with them. Seeing that Feng Yu Heng had come, they quickly went over to greet her. Xuan Tian Ge’s personal maidservant was the first to speak, saying: “It has been a long time since we last met, county princess. Our imperial daughter is deeply worried about you. But since county princess was always at the military camp, it would not be good to go and cause a disturbance, thus we could only patiently wait for you to return to the capital.”
Fung Tian Yu’s personal maidservant also said: “Of course, our family’s eldest young miss was also talking about you. Now that we have reached the end of the year, we have specially prepared some gifts for county princess. We hope that county princess will not dislike them.”
Feng Yu Heng was still a little embarrassed, as she had forgotten about the matter of sending gifts for the new year. Now that they had brought gifts to her, she did not have any sort of return gift ready.
“My sisters really are too polite.” She said with embarrassment: “I only just returned to the capital, and I have not yet had a chance to prepare any gifts. When you return home, tell your masters that I will definitely bring gifts to them in two days.”
Xuan Tian Ge’s maidservant said with a smile: “Whether or not there is a return gift is a small matter. Being able to have county princess personally come over, imperial daughter will definitely bounce with joy!” She said this while pointing at the servants holding the boxes outside, “In truth, all of these are for the madam and the young master. The gifts for county princess are with the Bai family’s young miss.”
Bai Fu Rong’s personal maidservant quickly brought a large box forward upon hearing this, and Xuan Tian Ge’s maidservant continued: “Imperial daughter said that county princess’ manor is not lacking in food or clothes, but that you usually dress too plainly. Thinking of how the Bai family is best known for its accessories, the young misses each provided some materials and sent them to the Bai manor. Take a look, these are all personally made by craftsman Bai.”
Saying this, the Bai family’s servant opened up the box, and three full sets of head ornaments could be seen. One set of gold, one of jade and one set was made of gemstones of various colors. They were beautiful beyond compare.
Feng Yu Heng always knew that even though gold ornaments were much more polished in the 21st century than in the ancient era, there was some regression in the craftsmanship. Although there were many different patterns that could be produced by machines, there was also a lack of ingenuity. Something truly good came from the hands of a craftsman, especially someone like craftsman Bai.
Seeing this, she was filled with joy, and she could not help but reach to receive the box. Holding it directly under her eyes, she looked closely at them.
When the servants saw this, they knew that she truly liked it, and the Bai family’s servant said: “If county princess likes them, then that’s good. Our family’s young miss can also let out a sigh of relief. In truth, the materials were all provided by imperial daughter Wu Yang, young miss Ren and young miss Fung. Our family is unable to provide such nice things.” The servant spoke a little quietly, and her face was a little red, as she was clearly embarrassed, “Young miss said that the Bai family only has this ability that is worthy of presenting, so would county princess please not dislike it.”
Feng Yu Heng felt moved. She naturally understood that the Bai family was merely a craftsman family. Without any sort of rank, how could they be compared to a palace, a general’s manor or a prime minister’s manor. But the Bai family also showed the greatest sincerity in preparing this gift. How could she be picky.
Moreover, craftsman Bai’s accessories were even difficult for the imperial concubines of the palace to request. Even the Empress could only receive one set of head ornaments each year from craftsman Bai.
Yet she had received three sets all at once.
“Thank craftsman Bai for me.” She spoke sincerely: “I know how valuable these accessories are, and I will definitely take good care of them.”
“County princess is being modest.”
The group talked for a little while before the servants bid farewell. Feng Yu Heng ordered for Huang Quan to personally send them off from the manor. Only then did Yao shi grab her and say: “In truth, I have already taken care of preparing the gifts. I was just waiting for you to return. But given the things that imperial daughter Tian Ge and the other young misses gifted, the gifts I prepared truly can not be presented. Think a little more to see what we can give in return, so that they will not resent you.”
Feng Yu Heng nodded, “Mother, don’t worry. A-Heng has a good understanding.”
But after she returned to her own small courtyard, she began to worry. It would be weird if she did have an understanding! She had not put any thought into this matter at all. Fortunately, Huang Quan’s words reminded her “When giving a gift, cater to their preferences or give something that they are lacking. Young miss, think along these lines.”
Very well, she would think.
Thus Feng Yu Heng spent the morning immersed in thinking about the return gift.
But while she was holding her chin and worrying about the gifts, she did not know that Feng Chen Yu had met with a disaster in her bedroom.
Feng Fen Dai finished eating breakfast and accompanied Han shi on a walk in Yu Lan courtyard, as she felt that her days were a little leisurely. Today, Hong Yun would not be able to come teach her dance until later at night, so she had to find something for herself to do during the day.
After thinking and pondering, she decided to go cause trouble for Feng Chen Yu.
When she entered Chen Yu’s courtyard with Pei’er, Chen Yu was saying to Yi Lin: “Although there will be no need for the black blush in the future, it can not be thrown away. That was something awarded by the palace, so it is possible that her Highness the Empress will come looking to settle some debts with me. If I already threw it away, wouldn’t that be a large problem?”
Yi Lin felt that her young miss was very correct, so she said: “Then this servant will store it in a side room.” Turning around, she left the room, but she very quickly returned. She did not have a chance to put away the black blush, as she anxiously said to Chen Yu: “Fourth young miss has come!”
Just as she said this, Fen Dai rushed into the room like a gust of wind.
Upon seeing Fen Dai, Chen Yu’s heart was filled with irritation. This girl was always causing trouble for her, and her mouth was without filter. She truly hated this younger sister.
“Oh!” Upon entering, Fen Dai let out this shout. She then began to look around the room, “Eldest sister is very leisurely.”
“Is there something fourth sister wishes to discuss?” She really wanted to put on a caring expression, but she was unable to after trying a few times.
“There is a bit of a matter.” Fen Dai casually pulled up a chair and sat down, “Last time, didn’t eldest sister say that there was a difference between being born of the first wife and being born of the concubine. We as children of concubines can not surpass the glory of the daughter of the first wife. This is not just limited to clothes and jewelry. Eldest sister, this room is full of gold items and antiques, could it be that they also need to be sent to grandmother’s side?”
She said this while standing up. Stomping over to a red vase, she reached out and picked it up.
“Before, when Chen shi was alive, she brought plenty of nice things to your room. Eldest sister, this vase is worth quite a lot right? Unfortunately, it should not be left for a daughter of a concubine.” Saying this, she let the vase slip out of her hand and drop to the ground, smashing it to pieces.
Chen Yu had already become flustered upon seeing her pick up the vase. Now that it had shattered, she stared at the thing that had come of it, and her heart nearly leapt up out of her throat!