Talking with Feng Yu Heng is Upsetting!
Feng Jin Yuan did not know when it started, but he really feared Feng Yu Heng coming to settle a debt with him. He knew even less when he began to owe Feng Yu Heng this debt. Now, Feng Yu Heng had lost a servant and had come to ask him to pay, but how could he repay her?
In an instant, he began to think quickly in his head.
The Feng family and the Chen family have fallen out, but he still permitted Chen Yu to communicate with the Chen family. First, Chen Yu had lost her mother and familial bonds were hard to break, so it was something of a memento. Second, if the Chen family occasionally provided some money, he would have an easier time with his work.
Like this time, he had been wondering what he should send into the palace, but he had not reached any sort of decision after two months. Although he found some nice things on the outside, he felt that they were either in poor taste or that he had given something similar in the past. There was never something that he was quite satisfied with. But the Chen family had acted this morning and provided a cask made of jadite. It was half the size of a person, and it was filled with topaz. Most shockingly, the topaz had been shaped to look fresh ginger. With all of them piled into the cask, there was a small peak at the top of the pile, making it look like a small mountain.
Just the jadite and topaz alone were beyond priceless, but based entirely on the hidden meaning of the cask and the fresh ginger, the Chen family was saying that this was a cask of rivers and mountains.1 When he first heard it, he felt abnormally shocked, but when he thought of it as a gift for the new year, he wondered how happy the Emperor would be. He had already begun to feel that it was odd to receive such a great gift from the Chen family, but he never thought that such a thing would be waiting for him.
The matriarch could see that Feng Jin Yuan was struggling based on his expression, and she believed that he was worried about the same things as her, that the case without any clues could not be solved. Thus she quickly told him: “That goshawk has already been caught by A-Heng and sent to the government office. Don’t worry, our Feng family’s children were ambushed, so the governor will not handle the case half-heartedly.”
Feng Jin Yuan heart tightened. The hawk had been caught? When he returned to the capital today, he had heard that there was a new governor, but he did not have a chance to carefully investigate what sort of person he was. But the matriarch had already said this, so it would not be good for him to say anything else. Moreover, the Chen family had become more and more bold, daring to take aim at his children time and time again. This time, they turned their sights on Feng Zi Rui, his only heir. If he endured any longer, perhaps the Chen family would go one step further, one day choosing to target him directly.
“Good! You have done well!” He looked at Feng Yu Heng and seriously said: “Father trusts that the governor will not slack off on this case despite knowing that our Feng family’s children were ambushed. Father will personally keep an eye on this matter. I will definitely have the person behind the scenes dragged out and their body shattered into ten thousand pieces!”
He angrily said this through gritted teeth, as he exuded an angry aura from his entire body. Feng Chen Yu saw it and retreated one step at a time in fear and narrowly avoided stumbling.
Feng Yu Heng nodded her head in satisfaction, “Since father has said so, A-Heng will relax. Father has worked hard and should get some rest first. Grandmother has already prepared a feast to welcome you back. After you have rested, we can begin to eat.”
How could Feng Jin Yuan have the mind to rest. He immediately turned down invitations from Han shi and Jin Zhen then left with his retinue back to Pine courtyard.
After he left, the female members of the family also began to disperse. Feng Chen Yu was in a daze and was last to leave. Her idea of winning Feng Jin Yuan’s pity had sunk. She was both hurt and scared, and she felt a new level of hatred for Feng Yu Heng that she had never felt before. She knew that her second sister was most adept at adding oil to the fire. Although she had a stoic expression and did not say too much from beginning to end, not a single word she said was wasted. Although she looked carefree, when she did speak, she targeted Feng Jin Yuan’s innermost worries. Now, Feng Jin Yuan looked at her with a gaze that held some disgust, so what could she do?
At the front, Feng Yu Heng deliberately slowed her pace. When Chen Yu walked past her side, she pretended to joke and said: “Hah, us sisters are truly very similar. Eldest sister previously had Yi Lin and Yi Yue at her side, and younger sister had Wang Chuan and Huang Quan. Now, both groups of servants lost one. This truly is worth lamenting.”
Feng Chen Yu’s heart trembled from hearing what she said, but Feng Yu Heng clearly liked to chat with her: “I heard that the governor’s cell for condemned criminals is quite good. Younger sister has a good idea, does eldest sister want to hear it?”
Feng Chen Yu heard her specially mention the cell for condemned criminals before speaking about her ideas, so she knew that the following would not be anything good. She wanted to say that she would not listen, but she was unable to stop herself from slowing down and stopping with Feng Yu Heng. She then heard Feng Yu Heng say: “You’ve taken away my personal servant? Very well, starting tomorrow, I will send one of their people into the cell for condemned criminals! I will not relent until the day Wang Chuan returns. Eldest sister, what do you think of my plan?” After she finished speaking, she did not wait for Chen Yu to reply. Taking Huang Quan, she confidently left.
Chen Yu’s legs went soft, and she suddenly fell to the ground. Yi Lin quickly went to support her, but she heard her quietly say: “Quickly go tell Chen Qing not to go outside today. It would be best if he did not take a single step outside his room! Go now!”
Reality showed that the warning was quite effective. Chen Qing listened and did not even attend the banquet at night for Feng Jin Yuan. Feng Jin Yuan even sent servants to invite him twice, but they both returned saying that the young master wanted to focus on studying and would beg forgiveness at a later time.
Feng Jin Yuan knew that he was a bookworm who focused on studying, so he did not insist too much.
This meal was just the family members expressed their concern and thoughts to Feng Jin Yuan. Jin Zhen and Han shi then began to use their affection and tears to do battle, which caused Feng Jin Yuan to drink a couple extra cups of wine.
When Feng Jin Yuan was finally able to escape those two, he held a cup of wine and sat down next to Feng Yu Heng.
Fen Dai originally wanted to call him back, but she was stopped by Han shi, who slightly shook her head, “Don’t go. Your father definitely has something to discuss with second young miss. Don’t go cause trouble.”
Feng Fen Dai thought about her extremely stubborn and slightly dishonest second sister then put down the foot that she had raised.
Feng Yu Heng was not surprised by her father’s move. He had left the capital for a little more than two months, but there were still so many things that happened in the capital. It would be strange if he were not curious. But Feng Jin Yuan did not speak, so she did not speak. One drank wine, and the other drank tea while occasionally grabbing some food. Like this, they sat for the full duration of two sticks of incense.
In the end, it was Feng Jin Yuan who could not continue to endure. Gently sighing, as though he were chatting about daily life, he casually asked her: “Has his Highness the ninth prince been well?”
Feng Yu Heng knew that he actually wanted to ask about Xuan Tian Ming’s legs, but since he did not ask clearly, she could respond unclearly. Thus she said: “All of the princes are well.”
Feng Jin Yuan was at a loss over what he heard, but he was not discouraged, as he continued to ask: “Father heard that you went to the military camp and helped his Highness the ninth prince with training the soldiers?”
“Un.” She nodded, “Since his Majesty award me the Hou Yi bow, I needed to bring it out to gain experience.”
Feng Jin Yuan felt that he had not received any notable responses, so his heart began to fill with some irritation. His gaze also revealed some ferocity, as he said even more suggestively: “Your eldest sister and fourth sister have both received the attention of some princes. Speaking of them, I really must thank you.”
She looked at her father with a puzzled look, “Why must you thank me? It was them that knew how to seize their opportunities and express themselves. Moreover, fourth sister’s engagement is thanks to eldest sister’s grace. Father should be thanking eldest sister.”
Feng Jin Yuan angrily clenched his fist, “Then tell me, why did his Highness the eldest prince suddenly give something to your eldest sister?”
She blinked, “Daughter has remembered this. Next time I see his Highness the eldest prince, I will definitely ask on father’s behalf.” After she finished speaking, she began to smile. No longer waiting for Feng Jin Yuan to continue his questioning, she began her own line of questioning: “Father, has everything gone well? The North is very close to Qian Zhou. Did father have any happy encounters?”
Feng Jin Yuan furrowed his brow even tighter. He could hardly understand what this daughter meant. This sort of very normal question would not be any more normal if asked by someone else, but when it was said by Feng Yu Heng, he had to think on it a little more. There were times he truly felt that he should have this daughter take over his position as prime minister. At just 13 years old, she had the heart and mind for it. If she was a boy, how bright would her prospects have been?
He held the cup of wine and took a sip. After pondering for a long time, he said: “It snowed very heavily. This sort of disaster causes the Northern part of Da Shun to turn into a field of endless white. There were countless people affected by the disaster, and there were people who died or were injured every day. Father was truly exhausted.” After he finished speaking, he did not wait for Feng Yu Heng to continue asking, as he added: “I heard that his Highness the ninth prince’s leg can not be healed?”
Feng Yu Heng nodded, “There never really was any hope that he could stand.”
He gave up. He never wanted to speak to this daughter again. Whenever he said something, she would say something to block him. If he continued, he felt that he would incur internal injuries.
Seeing that Feng Jin Yuan begin to only focus on drinking while his expression became ugly, the matriarch knew that Feng Yu Heng had definitely said something that was troubling. She did not want for Feng Jin Yuan to be unhappy on the first day he came back, thus she quickly changed the subject: “It will be the new year in a few days. On the first day of the new year, we must make considerations for going into the palace to pay respects to the Emperor and the Empress. I am not well, so I will not be going this year. As for you… Jin Yuan, take a look. Who should be taken along?”
Feng Jin Yuan waved his hand: “Everyone will go!”
Chen Yu was the first to raise an objection: “Father, I am still injured, so can I not go?”
“You won’t go?” Feng Jin Yuan angrily snorted, “If his Highness Prince Qi begins asking, tell father, what sort of explanation should I provide?”
Chen Yu was given a shock and immediately realized that Feng Jin Yuan was unhappy because of the matter with the eldest prince, so she immediately made her position clear “Father, it was his Highness the eldest prince who is trying to curry favor with daughter. Daughter doesn’t know why he is doing this, but daughter swears that daughter has only received his gifts but never privately met with his Highness!”
Feng Yu Heng suddenly interjected; “It’s good that eldest sister is not foolish, otherwise if this sort of thing were made known, eldest sister’s reputation would be ruined.”
“I naturally do not need second sister to remind me.” Chen Yu was truly unable to resist and rebutted her.
Feng Yu Heng did not say anything else, as she continued to eat the foods she liked.
On the other side, Fen Dai was a little worried and lowered her head. She even hid behind Han shi. Feng Chen Yu had not met with the eldest prince, but she had met with the fifth prince many times. If Feng Jin Yuan followed up on it, it would not be good.
But Feng Jin Yuan did not have any intention of investigating the matter. Instead, he spoke his mind: “In the past half of the year, there has been no shortage of conflict between our manor and the palace. But in the end, it’s just a matter for you girls. You should all go pay respects to her Highness the Empress, say some kind words, and that will be enough.” While saying this, he remembered what the Empress had said during the day. For a while, he was unable to understand why the Empress had suddenly changed her mind, but since she had mentioned it, he could not hide Chen Yu. Thus his mood improved slightly, as he said to Chen Yu: “Her Highness the Empress specially mentioned you today, saying that there were many misunderstandings in the past. They have now been resolved, so you should also go into the palace and thank her for her grace.”
Upon hearing this, Chen Yu guessed that it was probably the eldest prince that had said something to the Empress, thus she quickly said: “Daughter understands. Daughter will definitely go.”
“Un.” Feng Jin Yuan nodded and was about to continue, but he heard Fen Dai suddenly shout angrily: “What are you doing in such a panic? How many lives would it take for you to pay off bumping into concubine mother’s belly?”
Everyone immediately turned to look towards her.
1: This is a play on words. A mountain made of ginger is pronounced in the same way as rivers and mountains, which is another way of saying country. The second layer of this is the cask, which sounds like unify. So it’s a gift that signifies the unity of a country.