Coveting the Position as Daughter to the First Wife?
Feng Xiang Rong did not understand, “Why does concubine mother Yao do the cleaning herself? Shouldn’t these things be left to the servants?” Although a concubine mother was not a proper master, there was no reason to allow a concubine mother to do the cleaning herself!
Chen shi fiercely glared at Xiang Rong, scaring Xiang Rong in to lowering her head.
Feng Yu Heng did not care for this. If people asked, she would answer: “Mother was generous to us and granted Willow courtyard her very capable wet nurse and two of her first-rate maidservants. A-Heng and concubine mother are very flattered. But those are all first-rate servants, so how could we force them do these sorts of hard work? Furthermore, I brought Man Xi out with me and Zi Rui is still small, so granny Sun must take care of him. Granny Li had to go pay respects to mother, so only Bao Tang is left. If concubine mother doesn’t work, how can we keep up?”
Having said these things, the faces of the people in the room became ugly.
Feng Yu Heng added a few words: “It’s fine, it’s fine. Concubine mother and I have gotten used to these kinds of chores while living in the mountains. Even without strong servants, we would be able to survive!” These words reminded everyone that Willow courtyard was not given any strong servants.
The matriarch felt that since Feng Yu Heng entered the room, she had been continuously slapping her. She had truly lost a great deal of face.
And the person responsible for her losing face was the manor’s head wife. She really did not want to see Chen shi.
Thinking like this, her heart fell in to even more disarray. Chen shi merely came from a rich family, but that year they were not very wealthy. They merely had enough to support Feng Jin Yuan with the Imperial exam and provide food. In addition, she had spent time looking after her in the village. Later on, Chen shi built a fortune, but that was on the back of coming to the capital with the Feng family. Without them, how could Chen shi have become acquainted with Huang family’s business.
As for that year’s Yao shi, it was her who helped the Feng family enter the capital and establish a proper foothold!
She recalled her waist. The things that Feng Yu Heng had just said seemed to make sense. Although it was said that the Yao family had treated someone to death, but that large of a crime was not punished with death. Instead, they were only demoted and exiled to Huangzhou. Imperial physician Yao was said to be the best under the heavens. There were not many who had been favored seven times!
Thinking of that, Feng Yu Heng’s actions had raised feelings of tender love and pity. She waved her back and spoke: “My dear A-Heng has suffered.”
Feng Chen Yu was slightly shocked, as her face became overcast.
Feng Yu Heng had also seen the matriarch’s change of heart. However, this change of heart did not allow her to feel too different, much less feeling touched.
Only just recently did she remember that they had suffered, but what use was that now? Your real granddaughter had died already in an unmarked grave in the mountains to the Northwest. She had promised the body’s original owner that she would return for revenge.
“Grandmother is too caring, A-Heng did not suffer.” She casually spoke, and the matriarch felt that she was even more sensible.
“Granny Zhao.” the matriarch spoke, “Go pick some stronger servants and send them to Willow courtyard. Also, prepare for a few children to enter the manor. Give the second young miss a few attendant girls.” Then she looked towards Chen shi and clasped the beads in her hand. She felt it best to give her some face and said: “Chen shi granting her own most capable servants was correct. They can help the newcomers adjust. Let’s do it like that.”
“Everything will be as matriarch says.” Granny Zhao received the order and left. Chen shi was not pleased, but she did not say anything further.
Feng Chen Yu calmed her state of mind and let go of Chen shi. She took the initiative and walked over before Feng Yu Heng and followed the matriarch’s example: “Grandmother put it very well. Second sister has suffered many hardships these past few years in the mountains.” While she spoke, she grabbed Feng Yu Heng’s hand, “I remember when we were young, your hands were pretty like white jade. It made me very jealous. Recently, however, after a few years of hard life in the mountains, your hands now have more callouses and scratches. It really makes elder sister feel for you.” She raised her head and looked at her face, “Your skin has tanned, and I don’t know if resting in the manor for a few days will help heal it. Truly… ” As she spoke, a few tears rose from her eyes.
Feng Yu Heng sighed internally: She really was a great actress! Ask for tears and tears will come. She didn’t even need preparations.
But these words and tears that Feng Chen Yu spoke and cried were not wasted. She had followed up by reporting her current situation to the audience members.
The matriarch also understood. Feng Yu Heng’s hands were scratched, her skin darkened, the basic things a girl relied on were all but gone. In the future, looking for a good man would not be an easy task.
Thinking again about the matter of marriage to the ninth prince, it seemed no matter what, that Chen Yu would be most fitting. There were many princes in the government that eyed the dragon throne. Alone without foundation nor power, the Feng family relied on the son as their sole member in the government. No matter what, they needed to find a reliable mountain to lean on. The ninth prince had a body of military success, and he was the Emperor’s most beloved son. The Emperor had once personally promised that he would announce the ninth prince as the crown prince upon his return to the capital. It was unclear if there were any developments. If the ninth prince really became the crown prince, then the Feng family inevitably would grab hold of this reliable mountain. The marriage would definitely be the best bridge. But her son’s attitude yesterday…
“I still have some clothes that I have never worn. If little sister does not mind, then I will have someone send them over later. Little sister bear with it for a little while until the new clothes can replace them!” Feng Chen Yu had done her a favor.
Feng Yu Heng was alarmed: “How can that be ok!” Her voice raised a few levels, “Elder sister is the daughter of the first wife. How could A-Heng, a concubine’s daughter, put on the clothes of a daughter to the first wife?” She then looked at her own body and continued, “Big sister, do you blame me for wearing the clothes given to the former daughter of the first wife? Then A-Heng will immediately return and change!” She turned and walked away, but appearing to have remembered something, she turned her head: “Elder sister also should not blame fourth sister. She was very young and found these clothes to be pretty. That’s why she took them to wear. She had no intentions of being the daughter to the first wife.”
These lively words got Feng Fen Dai involved.
Feng Dai’s face was pale white. When she took these clothes, Feng Yu Heng had already been chased from the manor. Although it was against the rules, she did not tell anyone. Having it explained by Feng Yu Heng was not a good thing. Feng Chen Yu considered her image and could not blame her, but Chen shi was still there!
As expected, Chen shi immediately exploded upon hearing these words- “In this Da Shun dynasty, there are differences between the daughter of the first wife and the daughter of a concubine! The daughter of a concubine wearing the daughter of the first wife’s clothes, this matter cannot be explained! Fourth girl, do you blame mother for not providing you with nice clothes? Or is it that you only like the things that belong to the daughter of the first wife?”
Fen Dai quickly stood up to explain: “Not at all! Not at all! Mother, Fen Dai never had any idea of becoming the daughter of the first wife. At the time, I saw second sister had left before I took them. If second sister did not leave the manor, Fen Dai would never ever dare.”
“Did not leave the manor?” Chen shi was very good at finding problems with words, “You still hoped that she would not leave the manor?”
“Fen Dai did not!” Feng Fen Dai felt that when facing Chen shi, even a hundred mouths would not be enough because this mother was truly unreasonable. Not only was she unreasonable, she was incapable of understanding the words that others had said.
“Mother-in-law!” Chen shi had played it smart this time, arguing on her own was no good. She had to get the matriarch involved: “What is your opinion on this matter? The rules of this manor can not be broken.”
The matriarch rolled her eyes. She was not that easy to get involved. Chen shi had spoken, but she kicked the ball back to her: “You are the family’s head wife. How did the matter of rules get brought up with me?”
Chen shi deflated. She became even more unhappy. “Fourth girl, today you will stay indoors and transcribe Lessons for Women1. If there is nothing that you need to do, you can not leave your room.”
With a few words, she chose to confine Fen Dai to her room.
Feng Fen Dai naturally did not dare face off against Chen shi. She depressingly saluted, signalling that she was resigned.
But she then turned her head and glared fiercely at Feng Yu Heng.
She would not forget that these matters today were all because of second sister’s meddling. A girl who had been demoted from daughter of the first wife still dared to be arrogant. Sooner or later, a day would come where she would settle the score.
Feng Yu Heng faced the fierce glare and smiled, but did not say anything further. She did, however, turn to Feng Chen Yu and say: “Since mother has already disciplined fourth sister, elder sister should not blame her further.”
Feng Chen Yu also had a belly-full of anger. What did she mean, should not blame her further? When had she spoken of blame? Although she was not too happy, there had never been a person she could not get along with.
Facing towards Feng Fen Dai, she displayed a comforting smile, “Fourth sister should not take it to heart. Sister has never blamed you. Sister will help you transcribe Lesson for Women. Mother will not get angry.” She then turned her head towards Chen shi: “Right mother?”
Chen shi naturally would not forsake her own daughter’s image. She smiled and nodded: “Mother naturally will not get mad at Chen Yu. Our Chen Yu has clear reasoning and loves her sisters. You are most suited to being Feng manor’s daughter to the first wife.”
“Chen Yu originally was the daughter of the first wife. Naturally she is fitting!” From outside, a charming voice drifted in. Behind it, drifted in a few giggling voices. Everyone knew that it was the fourth concubine mother who had arrived.
Fourth concubine mother, Han shi, was the last to enter the manor, but gave birth in the same year as third concubine mother, An shi. The two children were born fourth months apart.
Han shi gave birth to a child with a beautiful appearance and naturally charming bone structure. Not only did men feel tingly upon seeing her bone structure, but many women did as well.
She was originally an show girl at a cabaret bar where Feng Jin Yuan once entertained people. She immediately fell in love with him. After returning to the manor, he ignored the matriarch’s objections and brought her in through the manor’s back door. He had even given her the title of fourth concubine mother.
These years, Han shi’s grace had remained unbroken. Feng Jin Yuan had also not brought in any further concubine mothers. Adding on how Chen shi had benefited from Feng Jin Yuan abandoning his wife in favor of his concubine gave Feng Fen Dai a misconception. She believed that if her father could do it once, he could do it a second time, and Chen shi would inevitably be demoted, and her own concubine mother promoted.
Speaking of Han shi, her tone was obsequious. Just hearing her voice, the people in the room aside from Feng Fen Dai felt a jolt of disdain.
No matter how good looking she was, or how she could win over people’s hearts, that was only towards men and outsiders. For the women of the same manor, there were many who would hold her in contempt.
A show girl at the beginning, so even a merchant like Chen shi felt that she would not lose to that person, so whenever there was a feast or dinner-party, she had never allowed Han shi to sit on the stage. She only kept her in the courtyard to avoid being embarrassed.
And Han shi stayed there. Even more, she did not fight for a place, nor compete for her share. Additionally, from time to time, she would stay at Feng Jin Yuan’s side and speak of Chen shi’s positive aspects. Over the course of time, Chen shi changed her to become not as hostile as before.
Together with Han shi was the third concubine mother, An shi. The two entered and paid their respects to their mother-in-law. Chen shi spoke out reminding them: “The two of you arrived late today.”
An shi was one who kept a low profile. She never liked wasted words with Chen shi, even more so when Han shi was present. No matter what words were said, someone would try to say them first. This would save her the trouble.
Sure enough, hearing Chen shi say this, Han shi immediately covered her mouth and let out a laugh then said: “Head wife may not know, but this concubine and sister An had left long ago, but on the road here, we ran in to the Lord and chatted for a while. That is why we are late.”
“The Lord?” Chen shi was shocked, “Didn’t my Lord go to the palace court?”
1: Some sort of book written by a female intellectual in the Han Dynasty. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lessons_for_Women