Master Has Returned to the Manor
Yi Lin covered her mouth out of fear: “Eldest young miss, calm down a little! You absolutely must not say such things! Now that madam is no longer alive if something were to happen to the Chen family, who is there left for eldest young miss to hope to rely on?”
“What hopes do I have left?” Feng Chen Yu pointed to her own forehead, “I now have this sort of damned appearance. No matter how much money the Chen family has, can it be traded for a piece of flesh?”
“Young miss must not place the fault with the Chen family. No matter how well that beast was tamed, it is still just a beast. If third master knew that you were in the carriage, he definitely would not have let it out!”
“Right!” Feng Chen Yu fiercely gritted her teeth, as she was practically able to shoot fire from her eyes, “It’s all because of Feng Yu Heng! She was always an enemy, and she should never have been kept at home!”
“Young miss, we need to come up with a plan.” Yi Lin consoled her while beginning to think: “Second young miss came to power relying on his Highness the ninth prince, but she lost power because of the Yao family and because…” Yi Lin’s eyes lit up, “Does young miss remember why master chose to raise our madam to the head wife position over all the other concubines in the manor?”
Feng Chen Yu frowned, “What are you doing mentioning something from so long ago? The Chen family and the Feng family are from the same hometown. When father was preparing for the imperial exam, grandmother was being pushed out in the old home and was taken care of by mother. Based on these deeds, the position of head wife was given to mother.”
“Oh my dear young miss!” Yi Lin was in a rush and sat next to her, earnestly saying: “What sort of time is it now? Don’t keep thinking on such a shallow level and think more carefully!”
“More carefully… You’re saying that father did it for the Chen family’s money?”
Yi Lin nodded, “But this is just one aspect. There is another reason. At that time, Taoist Zi Yang had resolutely said that you have the aspect of the phoenix and pointed to second young miss and said that she is the star of disaster. Only this was what caused master to chase them from the manor. If it were not for Taoist Zi Yang, how could master do such a cruel thing.”
Chen Yu understood, “You mean to say that the thing my father holds most dear is the aspect of the phoenix?”
“Yes.” Yi Lin saw that she finally understood and was finally able to let out a sigh of relief. The eldest young miss was born beautiful, but she was a little mentally slow. “That is to say, young miss, you do not need to rely on just your appearance. You still have the aspect of the phoenix!”
“Aspect of the pheonix?” Feng Chen Yu practically wanted to laugh, “Yi Lin, you have been with me so many years, and you have also taken care of mother. The matters related to the Chen family have been taken care of by you and Yi Yue. The situation behind the aspect of the phoenix is something you should understand better than anyone else.”
What aspect of the phoenix? That was nothing more than a lie created by the Chen family, so Chen shi could be promoted to the position of head wife and ensure that her beautiful appearance was not wasted.
“But master and elder madam still believe it after so many years!”
“Father believes it.” Chen Yu corrected her, “Although grandmother does believe it, she has always been lukewarm towards me. Once she runs into trouble, she turns around. Just looking at her attitude after Feng Yu Heng returned to the capital should make it clear.”
“The one who makes the final decision in the manor is still master.” Yi Lin consoled her, “To say something very disrespectful, how many more years will elder madam live for? Also, young miss should think about it, the matter of you having the aspect of the phoenix is something that is not just known within the Feng family and Chen family. Over the past few years, it has been spread throughout the capital. Regardless of why the eldest prince treats you well, he can currently be considered a mountain that you can lean on, and he is one that we can not let go of so easily. Also…” She thought a little more and was at a bit of a loss.
“If you have something to say, say it.”
“Yes, this servant was thinking about how the eldest suddenly began to treat you well, and there must be something subtle hidden there. I fear that it will require some more thought. That’s why young miss should make some more preparations. Not only must you secure the eldest prince’s side, you must also…”
“You are talking about the other princes?” Feng Chen Yu practically laughed out loud, “Each and every one of the Emperor’s children is odd. Everyone says that a gentle and fair woman has an easier time finding a man of noble character, but I have gone into the palace a few times and never seen any prince treat me particularly well.” She recalled the seventh prince, Xuan Tian Hua. That deity-like person had always managed to strike at her rawest nerve. “Father intends to engage me to his Highness the third prince, but take a look, Princess Xiang’s illness was actually cured by Feng Yu Heng. With the official princess still there, how should I get married? Do I get married and become the secondary princess? Is it possible for the Empress to originally have been the secondary princess? Moreover, I am currently the daughter of a concubine. Have you ever seen an empress who was born of a concubine?”
Yi Lin was rendered completely speechless. She originally wanted to tell Chen Yu not to hang herself from a tree, but she did not expect to hear so many complaints.
“In essence, everything can be blamed on that slut, Feng Yu Heng!” Chen Yu angrily said: “Only by taking care of her can I live in peace. You’re right. The Chen family cannot fall. The matter with the aspect of the phoenix can be thought about later. Right now, the important thing is to get that hawk out.” She ordered Yi Lin, “Go tell uncle about everything that happened today. Tell him that he must steal back that hawk!”
Yi Lin nodded repeatedly, advising Chen Yu to sleep. She then went to pass along this message to the Chen family.
After that night, it was the day Feng Jin Yuan would return to the manor.
Feng Chen Yu’s head was injured, so the matriarch sent someone early in the morning to tell her that she need not attend the reception; however, she did not listen. She endured the pain and dressed cleanly. Her face also had makeup beautifully applied. If one did not look at the forehead, where there was a large white gauze, this was a face that even other women had to admit was beautiful.
Yi Lin had originally wanted to wrap her head in a headscarf. Although it would have looked a little weird, it could do a very good job of covering the gauze. The headscarf color also complimented the color of her clothes. In addition to Chen Yu’s beauty, it would look quite chic.
Yi Lin was very satisfied with her arrangements, and she even thought that Chen Yu would say a few words of praise, but she did not think that Chen Yu would look in the mirror and angrily scold her “Take it off! Take off this damnable thing!”
She was given a fright and did not understand why she had been cursed, but when she saw Chen Yu’s anger, she did not dare ask. She could only go and remove the headscarf.
She did not know that this headscarf only reminded Chen Yu of Qing Le’s ghastly appearance at that time. Qing Le had lost her hair in a fire and was left with a head full of scabs, and she had used this sort of scarf to cover her head. She clearly remembered that was something that caused everyone to laugh at Qing Le, and she definitely did not want to become the one everyone laughed at!
“I will go out like this.” Chen Yu stood up and began walking out, “If father still pities me, he will definitely punish that slut, Feng Yu Heng!”
Finally, everyone stood in front of the manor’s entrance.
Feng Yu Heng held Zi Rui’s hand while standing with An shi and Xiang Rong. Fen Dai accompanied Han shi, while Chen Yu stood next to the matriarch. Jin Zhen was left alone with Man Xi, giving her a lonely feeling.
Among Feng Jin Yuan’s current concubines, the one the matriarch pitied most was still Jin Zhen. Jin Zhen was the most obedient, and there was no bad experience with her. The fact that she was originally one of the Feng manor’s servants made her even more welcome. On a normal day, she would visit and inquire about her well-being or massage her legs. Starting from when Feng Jin Yuan left the manor to when Han shi became pregnant, Jin Zhen had suffered a great number of grievances.
The matriarch waved to Jin Zhen, “Come here and stand next to me. In a while, how about sitting in the same carriage as me!”
With Feng Jin Yuan returning to the capital, the members of the Feng family had prepared to wait for him at the entrance of the capital. Now, the carriages were already outside the entrance.
Seeing that the matriarch had called her, Jin Zhen felt a surge of happiness and quickly went over. Taking over for granny Zhao, she helped the matriarch along. With granny Zhao backing up, this pushed Chen Yu even further away.
Flames erupted from Chen Yu’s eyes, but she still gritted her teeth and endured.
“Let’s go!” The matriarch raised her voice and said: “Everyone should cheer up a little. Jin Yuan had gone to relieve the disaster in the North. Now that the disaster has been resolved, him returning to the capital is something to be celebrated. Who knows how many citizens will be kneeling at the city’s gates waiting to welcome him. Our Feng family absolutely must set an example.” After she finished speaking, she led the way with Jin Zhen’s support and exited the manor.
Feng Yu Heng nearly laughed out loud, citizens kneeling to welcome him? Do you think that he’s a general returning from a successful campaign? She could not help but remember when she had first returned to the capital and run into Xuan Tian Ming also returning. That was truly an event with tens of thousands of people rejoicing.
She curled the corners of her lips up into a spontaneous smile.
When everyone followed the matriarch out of the manor’s gates and prepared to get into their carriages, a servant who had been sent out early to obtain information had returned on horseback. Seeing the masters of the manor were about to get into their carriages, he repeatedly shouted in a loud voice: “Hold on!”
The matriarch stopped and looked at the servant run over. Only then did she ask: “Did something happen?”
The servant saluted then said: “Elder madam, there is no need to go welcome master. Master entered the capital early and has already been called into the palace by the Emperor.”
“To the palace?” The matriarch was stunned, “Did you hear what he was called into the palace for?”
The servant smiled and said: “Elder madam, master went to the North on official business. Now that he has returned to the capital, he naturally needs to visit the palace first.”
The matriarch nodded. That was also true. Feng Jin Yuan had gone to relieve the disaster. How could he return home first before reporting to the Emperor? Thus she turned and returned to the manor. At the same time, she raised her voice and said: “Then we will just wait inside the manor.”
The matriarch did not return to Shu Ya courtyard, instead, she led everyone to wait in Peony courtyard. At the same time, Feng Jin Yuan, who had gone into the palace, was kneeling in the imperial court and listening to the Emperor affirming his achievements from this expedition to the North.
What Feng Jin Yuan did not expect was that he received a number of rewards along with the Emperor’s affirmation. When he left the court, he was invited by a servant to have an audience with the Empress!
He did not understand what this was for, but he knelt in reverence and heard the Empress say: “Previously, this one misunderstood the Feng family’s eldest daughter. In the past little while, I heard Qi’er mention the virtue and ability of the Feng family’s eldest young miss. Only then did I know that I had misunderstood her previously. Qi’er is a most obedient child. This one may not listen to what others may say, but this one will definitely take what Qi’er says to heart. That’s why this one has already relieved the Feng family’s eldest daughter of her punishment and removed the restriction that she may not enter the palace for five years. The imperial decree has already been sent to the Feng manor. I will just wait for the next court session to apologize directly to prime minister Feng.”
Feng Jin Yuan quickly kowtowed to the Empress and said: “Your Highness, I am absolutely unworthy of receiving something like an apology! This official’s daughter receiving your Highness’ concern is her good fortune. This official will thank your Highness on behalf of my daughter for your grace.”
“Un.” The Empress nodded then said to the maidservant at her side: “Go give the gift I prepared to Lord Feng then send Lord Feng off.”
“This official thanks your Highness for the reward. This official will be excused.”
Feng Jin Yuan kowtowed then left. Along the way, he pondered over what the Empress had said.
Speaking about Qi’er, she definitely was speaking about the eldest prince. He had found out about the changes at home from the letters sent by the matriarch. Chen Yu and Fen Dai had received the attention of the eldest prince and the fifth prince, respectively. These were things that he had not anticipated. Especially Chen Yu, whom he had told many times not to make any arrangements with men, so how did she end up being targeted by the eldest prince? In addition, he received secret reports about the wild shifts in court. The ninth prince had lost the Emperor’s favor, and the Emperor suddenly began favoring the eldest prince. These things truly caused him to become a little dazed.
Finally arriving at the entrance of his manor, Feng Jin Yuan took a deep breath, as he heard He Zhong, who had seen him, shouted into the manor “Master has returned to the manor!”