A Woman’s Gift
Last time she went to Winter Moon Palace, what did imperial concubine Yun say again? She did not want to look pretty and be thought of by others.
Although it was possible that it was said in anger, what one thought was one matter, while the actual situation was another, after all, there was not a person in the world that did not like being beautiful. Since imperial concubine Yun had said such a thing, she must have her own thoughts. Feng Yu Heng knew that she was a woman who had a lot of things on her mind. It would be best if she did not go against her desires.
Forget it. The gift that was originally the same as what she had prepared for the Empress now seemed inappropriate after some thought.
She continued walking forward, as she pondered what sort of gift she should give instead. Huang Quan asked her: “Did young miss think of something?”
She shook her head: “No, I was just wondering if imperial concubine Yun would like the gift that I prepared for her.”
“She will definitely like it.” Huang Quan smiled and said: “Young miss has always been mindful and tactful. Imperial concubine Yun also really likes you, so anything you give will be good.”
Feng Yu Heng, however, understood that liking or disliking was all based on a choice made after viewing the advantages and disadvantages. Aside from the first time they met, where imperial concubine Yun expressed her respect for the Yao family, she only spoke of how she had been nothing but good for Xuan Tian Ming. How could a shrewd woman like imperial concubine Yun allow her son to have a worthless fiancee at his side.
She kept thinking it over in her head, but she did not stop. Instead, she even increased her pace. In just the time of a stick of incense, she arrived in front of Winter Moon Palace.
At this time, Feng Yu Heng had already decided on the gift that she would give imperial concubine Yun. It was just kept in her space and was not brought out.
The front gate of Winter Moon Palace still remained closed, and there were female guards standing outside. There were no signs of any red lanterns, nor was there even a single word of fortune stuck somewhere. It did not have the appearance of celebrating the new year, and it caused people’s hearts to tremble.
“I came to see imperial concubine mother. Is she here?”
“Yes.” The guard turned to open the gate and said: “Imperial concubine Yun knew that princess would definitely be coming, and she even said you would arrive after paying respects in Fei Cui Hall. It seems that she was correct.”
Feng Yu Heng smiled then entered Winter Moon Palace. Immediately, a palace maid came over and saluted then led the way. She also told Feng Yu Heng: “Imperial concubine is currently in Zi Wei Hall. The supervisor of the Board of Astronomy has come and is explaining something about the stars.”
“Board of Astronomy…” She pondered and said this. It seemed that Xuan Tian Ming had mentioned before that it was an office in charge of monitoring the stars, “Imperial concubine believes in such things?”
The palace maid laughed and replied, “It can’t be considered believing, but imperial concubine said that the people from the Board of Astronomy are very good at telling stories. When she is bored, she listens to them to pass the time.”
Very well, since imperial concubine Yun has these sorts of thoughts, Feng Yu Heng could only laugh. But when she thought about it, listening to the stories from the Board of Astronomy would indeed be pretty interesting.
While they spoke, they arrived at Zi Wei Hall. Huang Quan stood to the side of the door and did not advance any further. The young palace maid stood in front of the door and loudly said: “Reporting to imperial concubine, princess has arrived.” Without waiting for a response from inside, she reached out and gently pushed the door open. She then gestured for Feng Yu Heng to enter.
Feng Yu Heng entered with large strides, and some more palace maids immediately saluted and came over to lead the way. Only after she walked into Zi Wei Hall did she realize that the large hall was very mysterious. Occult items of the five elements could be seen everywhere. Even the colors were based on the five elements. Directly in front, there was a high stage that was surrounded by a curtain. In a haze, everything was indistinct, and absolutely nothing could be seen clearly.
Below the stage stood a person in official’s clothes. Holding a scroll, he was very seriously talking about the changes in the stars, as Feng Yu Heng heard him say: “In the past half year, there have been many changes in the palace. Some stars rose and some fell. Coming from the Northwest, the star of the phoenix has entered the capital for many months and has become stable. This star suddenly appeared in this world. I have never seen the astrolabe spin do that. It is separate from the twelve main palaces, and the light filled the air. It was a miracle that has never been seen in the past ten thousand years.”
For some reason, when she heard about the “star of the phoenix” her heart suddenly began to tremble.
Subconsciously, she reached for her chest, and the palace maid at her side looked at her in surprise then quietly asked: “Princess, what happened? Are you feeling unwell?”
Feng Yu Heng shook her head, “It’s fine.” Her gaze, however, turned to the supervisor from the Board of Astronomy.
Her gaze just happened to come as the supervisor finished speaking. Hearing that someone behind him was coming forward, he acted tactfully and moved a couple steps to the side. Just as Feng Yu Heng’s gaze reached him, he suddenly turned around, as though he had sensed something. The two looked at each other, and the supervisor of the Board of Astronomy felt a chill through his body, as both of his eyes became wide.
“Is it Heng Heng that just came?” On the stage, imperial concubine Yun’s voice called out.
Feng Yu Heng politely nodded to the supervisor then quickly went forward the kneeled on the ground: “Daughter-in-law pays respects to imperial concubine mother. I hope imperial concubine mother will be blessed with good fortune and that all of your desires will be smoothly realized.”
“Un, I just love listening to Heng Heng speak. The one telling the story just now, you may go. This one wishes to speak with my daughter-in-law.” Imperial concubine Yun had always been one to do as she pleased. She could not remember this supervisor’s name, and she could not even clearly remember what his title was. She only knew that he came to tell very interesting stories about the stars. She really enjoyed listening to these mystical stories.
The supervisor from the Board of Astronomy did not argue, as he immediately saluted then left. But just before he left, he looked towards Feng Yu Heng, but she did not react at all.
After he left the hall, he only felt his heart racing. Having read the stars for many years, his intuition was naturally sharper than a normal person’s. He could determine that the future Princess Yu was one of the key stars in his astrolabe!
“Heng Heng came just in time.” Inside Zi Wei Hall, imperial concubine Yun had already left the stage. She wore a set of blue clothes today. Although it was plain, there were, fortunately, some flowers embroidered at the top that gave it a bit of a new year’s feel. “That person just finished telling a story about the star of the phoenix suddenly appearing, and this one felt that there was nobody left to accompany me for a chat.”
Imperial concubine Yun said this while grabbing hold of Feng Yu Heng’s hand. The two walked over to the banquet area of Zi Wei Hall. Imperial concubine Yun sat first then gave her a seat. Only then did the servants bring over plates of fruit.
“It’s the middle of Winter, but who knows where Hua’er found these lychees. They’re quite fresh too. Taste them.” Imperial concubine Yun pointed at a large plate of lychee on the table then said: “Before, I absolutely loved eating these. After a while, I ate too much and had enough. But eating them occasionally during Winter is pretty nice.”
Of course, Feng Yu Heng could not truly go and begin peeling lychee. Quickly reaching her hand into her sleeve, she pulled out two small bags from her wide sleeves.
Today, she was wearing the county princess’ official clothes. The sleeves of these clothes were wider than her normal clothes, and they were quite handy for her to hide things.
“Today is new year’s day. Imperial concubine mother also knows that almost all of the nice things in daughter-in-law’s manor were gifts from his Highness. Daughter-in-law has no intention of regifting things. But earlier in the year, when I was in the Northwest, I received plenty of nice things from my Persian master, and I found something that is quite useful for imperial concubine mother.” As she said it, she placed the two bags in front of imperial concubine Yun. Before she could ask, she stood up and took a couple steps forward then whispered a few things into imperial concubine Yun’s ear.
Not long after, imperial concubine Yun’s face revealed shock, as she rushed to say: “Was everything you said true?”
Feng Yu Heng nodded, “Not a single word was false. Next time imperial concubine mother’s period comes, you will know.” Two packages of sanitary napkins were truly good tidings for the women of the ancient era.
Imperial concubine Yun trusted Feng Yu Heng, especially these sorts of novel things. Previously, she had received a very useful mirror. After putting away these special gifts, imperial concubine Yun’s face could not hide it. Although it was still the usual lazy appearance, it appeared to reveal some radiance. Compared to the first time they met, it had begun to regain some warmth.
“This one has seen Ming’er’s legs.” Imperial concubine Yun waved her hand, sending all of the servants out. Only then did she say: “I originally thought that they could not recover, and this one was truly saddened for a while, but I never thought that little one would have such a good life and run into you.”
Feng Yu Heng replied with a smile: “Imperial concubine mother is exaggerating. A-Heng meeting with his Highness is also considered fortuitous. I am indebted to his Highness for not being abandoned. Only then can this be considered a predestined relationship.”
Imperial concubine Yun nodded, as she was very satisfied with Feng Yu Heng’s humble appearance. Although this girl was a child of the Feng family, her eyes resembled those of the Yao family. She did not look like Feng Jin Yuan at all. “Ever since Ming’er was three years old, this one began to speculate over what sort of wife that little one would find. If they were not to my liking, even if her legs were broken, I definitely would not allow her to be carried into my palace. Who knew that after many years, a likable girl like you would appear. This one is truly very satisfied.” Imperial concubine Yun giggled for a while then suddenly raised her hand before Feng Yu Heng could say anything: “Go, there is a banquet at Fei Cui Hall today. It will definitely be lively. Quickly go and watch.”
Feng Yu Heng originally thought that imperial concubine Yun was a little unpredictable. Now, she felt that the problem had flared up, but she did not think too much about it, as she stood up and left.
Remaining in place, imperial concubine Yun picked up a lychee. While peeling it, she looked at a certain corner in her peripheral vision then curled her lips into a sneer.
Feng Yu Heng left Zi Wei Hall then began to leave Winter Moon Palace with Huang Quan. When they were about to reach the gate, a man came from in front of them. In a set of white robes, he appeared refined and elegant.
She immediately began smiling and ran over, raising her voice: “Seventh brother.”
The person who had come was the seventh prince, Xuan Tian Hua. Who knows what he was thinking about, as he did not see Feng Yu Heng. Only after she called out to him did he turn around and freeze. Seeing her, he said: “A-Heng.”
Feng Yu Heng immediately saw the anxiety on his face, and she could not help but ask: “Seventh brother, what happened?”
Xuan Tian Hua opened his mouth and really wanted to say something, but he could not say it, only waving his hand and saying: “It’s nothing. I came to see imperial concubine mother. In a while, I will be going to Fei Cui Hall. You can go first.” After he finished speaking, he did not wait for Feng Yu Heng to ask before walking into the palace.
This caused even Huang Quan to be stunned. The mood of the always warm seventh prince was off today!
Feng Yu Heng did not say anything, as she left Winter Moon Palace with a heavy expression. She knew that Xuan Tian Hua definitely ran into something, and it was something that was very hard to handle, or at least it caused him to feel troubled. But she did not understand, what sort of thing could cause Xuan Tian Hua to feel troubled?
The two walked in the direction of Fei Cui Hall. Along the way, they would occasionally run into some madams and young misses, who were sending gifts to each palace. Feng Yu Heng suddenly asked: “Right, which one is his Highness the eldest prince’s imperial concubine mother?”
Huang Quan told her: “It’s imperial concubine Gu, and she lives in Yan Fu Palace.” As she said this, she reached out and pointed down a road: “Yan Fu Palace is in that direction.”
As she spoke, a few people came from that path. Huang Quan quietly said: “They were all sending gifts. Now that his Highness is gaining prestige and power, the number of people sending gifts to Yan Fu Palace naturally is not low.”
Feng Yu Heng nodded, “That’s right. People are very good at noting the direction of the wind and acting accordingly.” She said this and looked in the direction of that small path. She saw that there were two people behind the group that Huang Quan had pointed out. Looking carefully, she immediately recognized them “Look, the one walking in the back. Isn’t that Feng Chen Yu?”