Who Should Compensate for Life?
Feng Jin Yuan walked towards Peony courtyard. Upon entering, he saw the matriarch leading his concubines to receive him.
Having left the capital for so long, suddenly seeing relatives caused him to become a little moved. He could not help but increase his pace slightly then kneel in front of the matriarch: “Mother, son has returned.”
These words caused the matriarch’s old eyes to fill with tears. Holding Feng Jin Yuan in her arms, she wanted to tell him to stand, but the tears made her unable to speak.
It was granny Zhao who went forward and helped Feng Jin Yuan up and said on the matriarch’s behalf: “It’s good that master has returned. Taking care of such a large family, elder madam was careful and attentive, not daring to be the slightest bit distracted!”
Feng Jin Yuan knew that too many things had happened at the manor over the past little while, and this had troubled the ill matriarch. He could not help but gratefully say: “Son thanks mother and will remember mother’s help for the rest of my life.”
The conversation between mother and son caused even the concubines behind to wipe away tears. Xiang Rong had always been a soft-hearted person, so she also began to tear up. Chen Yu was good at acting, so she naturally would not miss out on such a thing. It was Feng Yu Heng and Feng Fen Dai who were unable to produce any tears. Feng Yu Heng had a cold and distant expression while watching this scene, and Fen Dai raised her voice and shouted for the sake of changing the topic: “Concubine mother, you must not cry! That is one of the things that must be avoided while pregnant. Don’t cause any injuries for younger brother.”
These words reminded Feng Jin Yuan that Han shi was pregnant. He had received this news in a letter from the matriarch. Thus he quickly moved into the group and headed straight towards Han shi, but he did not see Jin Zhen’s expression instantly become depressed.
“You’ve worked hard.” Feng Jin Yuan held Han shi’s shoulder and felt that she had become plumper, but her belly had not yet begun to stick out. Thinking about it, not too much time had passed, but it should become visible after the new year.
“Husband, you’ve finally returned!” The words rushed out of Han shi’s mouth, as she dove into Feng Jin Yuan.
Feng Jin Yuan had always been a respectable and cautious person in front of others, so he definitely would not be seen being intimate with a wife or concubine on a normal day. With Han shi now being pregnant and him having been away for two months, it would not be good for him to push her away, thus he hugged her.
Fen Dai found this scene to be beautiful. So long as Han shi could grab hold of Feng Jin Yuan’s favor, her status within the Feng family would steadily rise.
Normally, the matriarch did not like Han shi, but she now had to take care of the potential child, so she said: “Stop crying. Fen Dai is right. You must not cry while pregnant. I will have the servants prepare a supplement and bring it over to you.”
Feng Jin Yuan felt a surge of emotion, “Many thanks mother.”
“What is there to thank.” The matriarch finally smiled, “She is your concubine, and my grandson is in her belly. Is it possible for me to not treat her well? She even moved from her courtyard to Yu Lan courtyard because it sees more sunlight, which is good for her health.”
Feng Jin Yuan nodded and gently patted Han shi’s shoulder, saying: “I really must thank mother properly.”
Han shi no longer remained in his embrace, as she reluctantly stood up and bowed to the matriarch, “This concubine thanks mother-in-law for taking care of me.”
“You should avoid doing it. I already said that there is no need for you to bow since you are pregnant. Let’s not keep standing around in the yard. Let’s go inside. With a charcoal brazier, it’s much warmer there.”
Only then did everyone noisily enter the hall. While they were walking, Feng Jin Yuan looked towards Jin Zhen and saw that the concubine he loved the most had red eyes and was looking at him with a pitiful appearance. He could not help but feel his heartache and immediately gave her a loving look.
Only then did Jin Zhen begin to feel a little more at ease.
With everyone finally seated in the hall, Feng Jin Yuan first told the matriarch about the Emperor’s affirmation and rewards that he received at the palace, causing the matriarch to smile so widely that she could no longer close her mouth.
The mother and son chatted for a while before he took some time to look at his son and daughters.
Feng Chen Yu was first to stand up and kneel before Feng Jin Yuan: “Daughter pays respects to father.”
With her leading the way, the others could not continue to remain seated, thus the other four also stood up then kneeled.
Feng Jin Yuan looked at Chen Yu and immediately recalled what the Empress had said. He could not help but feel a little angry. This daughter was the one he had once placed the most hope in, but she was also the one he worried about the most. One thing after another, she would cause provocation. Now, she managed to provoke the eldest prince. Because of this matter, the third prince had angrily written a letter about it.
His heart was filled with anger. Although he saw the wound on Chen Yu’s head, he thought that she had simply bumped it out of carelessness. Seeing that there were no problems with her ability to walk or talk, he decided not to ask about it, instead, he turned his attention to Feng Zi Rui: “Zi Rui, when did you return to the capital?” Now that this child was his son of the first wife, he could no longer completely ignore him as he did before. Moreover, Feng Zi Rui was imperial tutor Ye Rong’s only personal disciple after the current Emperor, so he could be considered the Emperor’s junior disciple. This was a connection that could not be ignored.
Zi Rui heard his father ask, thus he respectfully replied: “Zi Rui returned to the capital yesterday. Father left the capital to relieve a disaster, and Zi Rui was unable to personally send father off. It was Zi Rui’s fault. Father was not at the manor, and Zi Rui was unable to share grandmother’s burdens. This was also Zi Rui’s fault. I hope father and grandmother will be magnanimous and lenient.” These words were said with generosity and grace.
This child would be seven after the new year, but Feng Jin Yuan got the feeling of a man who could accomplish anything from him. This gave him a great shock. He thought to himself that it was no loss that imperial tutor Ye Rong was able to produce this sort of student. In just a few months, he had become completely different than he was a few months prior.
He stood up and personally helped Zi Rui up. Father and son looked at each other, and Feng Jin Yuan immediately felt the intelligence and cleverness in his son’s gaze. There was also a maturity that did not match with his age. In that instant, he felt a bit of joy in his heart. Now that Feng Zi Rui was his son of the first wife, the more this child stood out, the more hope there was for his Feng manor! But there was still Feng Chen Yu. As soon as he thought of this daughter, out of habit, he began to hesitate over what he should do.
“Stop kneeling, quickly get up.” The matriarch saw the change in Feng Jin Yuan’s expression, but she did not know if it was good or bad. If it was just Feng Zi Rui, she was very happy to value this child, but when she remembered that his sister was Feng Yu Heng, the matriarch began to hesitate.
“Father, Fen Dai missed you greatly!” The scar on Feng Fen Dai’s face had not yet completely healed, but with Hong Yun’s facial cream, it was no longer as apparent.
But Feng Jin Yuan found it hard to hold back his anger, as one daughter had injured her head and the other her face, so he asked: “What happened to your face?”
Fen Dai was very happy that he asked about her face. It had to be known that Feng Chen Yu clearly had a white cloth wrapped on her head, but her father did not ask a single word about it.
She was also quite adept at this sort of acting, as she squeezed out a couple tears: “Fen Dai broke one of eldest sister’s vases and was…” She originally wanted to bring up the matter one more time, but she remembered Han shi’s warning from earlier in the morning. Father had just returned to the manor, so she could not cause problems for him with these sorts of things. Either way, Han shi was now pregnant. Was there any fear that father would not visit Yu Lan courtyard? Thus she changed her tone: “I accidentally cut myself.”
Feng Jin Yuan angrily snorted, “Why visit your eldest sister’s room for no reason?”
The matriarch quickly interjected, “Shouldn’t sisters interact with each other some more?”
Thinking of this, he felt it was reasonable, so he did not worry about it too much, as he only told Fen Dai: “Take care and use your medicine properly. Make sure that no scar remains.”
Fen Dai happily thanked Feng Jin Yuan and wanted to speak about the matter with the fifth prince, but she saw that Feng Jin Yuan had already turned his attention to Feng Yu Heng.
But Feng Yu Heng still had her usual indifferent appearance. Just looking at it, Feng Jin Yuan felt extremely awkward and a bit irritated. The other children either expressed their happiness directly or were like Xiang Rong, who wiped away tears. Only this second daughter, who was now the Feng family’s daughter of the first wife, remained neither warm nor cold.
Looking at Feng Yu Heng, the words became stuck in his mouth, and he was unable to say anything for a long time.
Seeing him like this, Feng Yu Heng smiled internally; however, she finally spoke up, but the words she said led him in a different direction “There is no rush for father to speak with A-Heng. You should instead look at eldest sisters, as a goshawk bit off a piece of flesh from her head. She must be in extreme pain. Father should show some concern.”
“What?” Feng Jin Yuan was completely shocked. A piece of flesh was bitten off?
Hearing that the topic had changed to her, Feng Chen Yu immediately began to cry. This time, she was truly crying. First, her forehead was in great pain, and second, she felt wronged.
How could the matriarch still not understand that Chen Yu wanted some sympathy, so she snorted to herself and said: “Don’t cry. This matter has already been handed off to the government. They will definitely provide an explanation.”
“But what good will an explanation be?” She raised her head and looked at Feng Jin Yuan with an extremely grief-filled appearance: “Father, daughter has been treated harshly by life. Daughter has truly been treated harshly by life!”
She truly was his daughter. Even if Feng Jin Yuan was irritated with her going after the eldest prince on her own, he still felt distressed over her current appearance.
Feng Yu Heng began to explain from the side: “Yesterday, eldest sister came with me to pick up Zi Rui, but Zi Rui was ambushed by assassins along the way, and our carriage was attacked by a goshawk. I was thrown out of the carriage, and eldest sister had a chunk of flesh bitten from her forehead by the goshawk.” She summarised it simply and concisely, clearly recounting the happenings from the day prior.
Feng Jin Yuan inhaled sharply and quickly looked towards Zi Rui, hurrying to ask: “Zi Rui is fine, right?”
Feng Yu Heng was very satisfied with this matter, thus she nodded, “Fortunately, Wang Chuan was there to escort him. Zi Rui is fine, but unfortunately… Wang Chuan was kidnapped by the assassins.”
“The one who was at your side, Wang Chuan?” Feng Jin Yuan furrowed his brows tightly. He knew the ability that Feng Yu Heng’s two personal servants had. Perhaps even his own hidden guard would be unable to defeat them, but he did not think that Wang Chuan would be kidnapped. “Wait, wait…” He recalled something that was said, “You just said… a goshawk?”
Feng Yu Heng smiled wickedly and nodded, “Father has just touched on the most central point. It was indeed a goshawk. It was one that had been tamed by someone, as the goshawk had a gold hoop around its neck.”
Feng Jin Yuan became furious and angrily stared at Chen Yu, causing Chen Yu to take a couple steps back in fear.
How could he not know about the Chen family’s third son, Chen Wan Liang, who raised some goshawks capable of taking lives. How could he not know that the goshawks were capable of understanding human speech. Who knew how much they had done for Chen Wan Liang. Wasn’t this matter completely clear now. Chen Wan Liang wanted to kill Feng Yu Heng, and Chen Yu was definitely injured by accident. Most importantly, the goal was to take Feng Zi Rui’s life.
Such a cruel heart! He now only had this one son, if he were gone…
A cold sweat covered Feng Jin Yuan. He really wanted to have Chen Yu and the Chen family completely exterminated, but he suddenly recalled the letter that he had received early in the morning from the Chen family. It said that they had prepared a gift for the new year that could be brought into the palace for the Emperor. Something that he had stressed over for two months was resolved by the Chen family. He originally thought it was a good thing, and the Chen family was expressing goodwill. So long as he relented, he would no longer have any financial difficulties like in the past. But he did not think that they had done something that left them with a guilty conscience and could only lower their heads.
“Father.” Feng Yu Heng stepped forward until she stood face to face with him. Her body was small, so she needed to look up to see him, but that ice-cold gaze pierced his bones. “Tell me, who should pay for my servant’s life?”