Currying Favor for no Reason to Hide Evil Intentions
“Your Highness should return.” Feng Yu Heng retracted her gaze and lightly said to Li Kun: “A-Heng has already eased your heart, and I see that father Emperor seems to have something to say. Your Highness should return to your own seat.”
Li Kun originally had his face turn red from what Xuan Tian Ge said and used what Feng Yu Heng said as a chance and quickly left.
Xuan Tian Ge wanted to joke with Feng Yu Heng for a while, but the singing and dancing suddenly stopped, and the dancers suddenly left. They then heard Zhang Yuan announce from the Emperor’s side: “The special envoy from Qian Zhou will enter the court!”
The special envoy from Qian Zhou!
Once this was announced, not only Feng Yu Heng but Xuan Tian Ge also frowned.
“Of the four countries bordering Da Shun, Qian Zhou is the one that is most restless. They cause riots on the border, and uncle Emperor is troubled over what to do with them.” She leaned close to Feng Yu Heng and quietly said, “This time, your father went to the North to relieve the disaster. I wonder, did he mention anything about Qian Zhou’s riots?”
Feng Yu Heng shook her head, “You know this. We don’t talk much.”
Xuan Tian Ge nodded and did not say anything further.
At this time, the special envoy from Qian Zhou was still outside Fei Cui Hall. As Xuan Tian Ming had said before, the one that had come to Da Shun this time was the eldest princess and a young princess. The young princess had an unruly appearance. While walking in, she raised her chin and closely scrutinized the surrounding people. Occasionally, she would even roll her eyes at some young misses, and this was truly irritating.
As for the eldest princess, she was dignified and steady. Calculating her age, she should be over 30 years old, but she had preserved her skin quite well, so she looked to be 27 or 28 years old. The country to the North had strong winds and hard soil. The people from that region would be a bit more sturdy and a bit taller than the people from the central region, but this eldest princess had white skin and a well-proportioned body. She truly was a member of the imperial family. Her face was so nice that it did not look like it had been battered by the wind and snow.
Xuan Tian Ge leaned closer to Feng Yu Heng’s side and quietly said: “The imperial family of Qian Zhou has the surname Fung1. Their current emperor ascended to the throne at the age of 17, and he has only just turned 23. This eldest princess is his elder sister. I heard that the previous emperor did not treat this son particularly well, and it was the secret planning of this eldest princess that allowed him to sit on the throne. She was married. Unfortunately, the husband died early, leaving behind this daughter. The princes of Qian Zhou are very respectful to this elder sister. With her, they doted on their niece to no end.
Xuan Tian Ge was like an automatic narrator. As the two princesses walked over to the courtesy seats, she had concisely told her about the gossip pertaining to the imperial family of Qian Zhou. Feng Yu Heng found it very useful.
“Kang Yi leads Ru Jia to greet your Majesty the Emperor of Da Shun. We wish your Majesty a long life and wish your Highness a long life. We also hope that the citizens of Da Shun prosper and enjoy plentiful harvests.” As she said this, the eldest princess of Qian Zhou kneeled with her daughter to salute. Behind her, a group of maids also kneeled.
The Emperor was very kind in his treatment of women, as he laughed and said: “Princesses have suffered hardships from traveling quite a distance. Quickly, rise.”
“Thank you, your Majesty.” The eldest princess, Kang Yi, did not speak with a gentle voice, as it had a trace of heaviness.
Feng Yu Heng began to think. Being able to help such a young little brother ascend the throne, this was quite a legendary woman.
Sure enough, just as she stood up, they saw the eldest princess Kang Yi turn to the side and salute the officials of Da Shun then say: “Kang Yi greets all of the officials. The achievements of Da Shun could not be done without the effort of the officials. Kang Yi admires you greatly.”
If a girl spoke like this, what could the officials do? They could only stand up and return this greeting, saying: “Princess is exaggerating. These officials are anxious.”
The eldest princess did not linger for too long, as she turned to the madams and young misses with a dignified smile and bowed slightly: “Madams and young misses, greetings.”
Everyone quickly returned the greeting. For a while, everyone’s impression of eldest princess Kang Yi improved; however, Xuan Tian Ge did not believe this to be the case. Feng Yu Heng heard her mutter to herself: “Someone who curries favor for no reason is hiding an evil motive.”
Ren Xi Feng told her off: “You! What sort of tantrum are you throwing this time? She is being very polite. This is a good thing, but it’s irritating you?”
Xuan Tian Ge placed a bet with her: “I bet 500 taels that princess Kang Yi came to Da Shun with impure motives.”
“Fine.” Ren Xi Feng had a good impression of this eldest princess and nodded, “A bet is a bet.”
Fung Tian Yu heard this bet and could not help but shake her head, “Xi Feng, you really are about to lose.”
Ren Xi Feng was puzzled, “Why do you say that?”
Fung Tian Yu replied: “Because in all my years, I have never heard my father say a single good thing about the Northern border. Every time Qian Zhou is brought up, he ends up with a number of things to worry about. Also, could it be that you forgot what happened at the palace banquet three years ago?”
Ren Xi Feng froze, and her expression turned slightly ugly.
Feng Yu Heng saw that she seemed to be a bit regretful and could not help but ask curiously: “What happened three years ago?”
Bai Fu Rong explained to her: “At that time, it was just a few months after you left the capital. That year, the special envoy was rather normal. Prior to entering the palace, he stayed one night in a posthouse; however, on that very night, that posthouse somehow caught fire. The large fire burned all of the gifts that Qian Zhou had brought, of which there were four bolts of moon palace silk. This was something that caused people great distress. Not only were the gifts burned, even two of the attendants from Qian Zhou had burned to death. The special envoy fell very ill from being frightened. There was nothing the Emperor could do. After all, it had happened on Da Shun’s soil, and it was in the capital. For the sake of appeasing Qian Zhou, many things were sent back with the special envoy, and Qian Zhou was allowed to skip paying tribute for three years.”
Xuan Tian Ge nodded, “Right, after three years, this is the first. I must see what they have brought after saving up for three years.”
While they were chatting, the eldest princess of Qian Zhou handed the list of gifts to a palace servant then said to the Emperor: “Qian Zhou is covered by ice and snow through the entire year. It truly cannot compare to the fertile soil of Da Shun, and it can not even be compared to the lands of Zong Sui. That’s why the amount of tribute is a bit lacking. I hope your Majesty will not mind.”
When she spoke, her tone was very controlled. It was not toadied, nor was it humble. It was very calm, as though she were talking about the mundane happenings of daily life.
To be honest, aside from the four bolts of moon palace silk, the gift list really was not much to look at. Compared to Zong Sui, it was much worse. But the Emperor understood what eldest princess Kang Yi had said. The North could not be compared to the East. It snowed through the entire year in Qian Zhou. It was difficult to even plant crops, so how could there be a large number of things. Moreover, it was a woman that had come, and she was a caring and polite person. What could he possibly say to argue with her?
Thus he revealed a smile: “There’s no harm done. Being able to produce this much is truly relieving.”
Once he said this, princess Ru Jia, who had been staying silent and standing next to Kang Yi, suddenly raised her voice and said: “Mother, look. I told you that the Emperor of Da Shun would not argue over such little things! Really, I told you to leave a bolt of moon palace silk for Jun’er, but you wouldn’t do it.”
“Oh?” The Emperor chuckled and looked at princess Ru Jia then asked: “You want moon palace silk?”
Ru Jia nodded: “That’s right! That thing is very rare. When a bolt is finally made with great difficulty, it must be sent to Da Shun. We, ourselves, have never worn any clothes made of moon palace silk.”
Kang Yi’s face was filled with anger, as she scolded her: “What nonsense are you spouting? Quickly shut your mouth!” She then bowed to the Emperor, “This young girl is naughty and unruly. It was Kang Yi’s fault for her poor upbringing. I request your Majesty not blame her.”
“Ah!” The Emperor waved his hand, “A young child having a quick temper is normal. There is no need to lecture her. As We see it, Ru Jia’s temper is very straightforward. You want moon palace silk, right? Good! Then We will gift you one bolt! Oh, no, two bolts!”
“Really?” Ru Jia’s eyes were lighting up.
The Emperor nodded: “A monarch does not joke.”
“That’s great!” Ru Jia had practically begun bouncing, “Mother, look. How great is the Emperor of Da Shun. He’s even easier to talk to than uncle Emperor!”
He was a little too easy-going. Even Feng Yu Heng felt that the Emperor was a little too easy-going when faced with these two princesses. Although it was just two bolts of moon palace silk, it had to be known that this was not a normal reward.
She looked towards the Empress’ side and saw that all of the imperial concubines had bitter expressions. Their unwillingness and envy were written all over their faces.
“What is happening with the Emperor?” She looked over at Xuan Tian Ge, “I keep feeling that his mood is off.”
“Hah.” She heard Xuan Tian Ge sigh, “Previously, I had an aunt. She was out Da Shun’s eldest princess. This was something my imperial father brought up. Because I was too young at the time, not even three years old, I could not even remember what my aunt looked like. But my imperial father said that my aunt was the elder sister of him and uncle Emperor, and she doted on both of them. From a young age, grandfather Emperor was very busy, so they were taken care of by my aunt. But later on, aunty got married to a person, and grandfather Emperor did not agree, so he crippled that person. But aunty still wanted to marry that person, so there was nothing grandfather Emperor could do but demote aunty to a commoner to allow her to marry that person. But after they were wed, because that person had been beaten too severely, he passed away before three months passed. With the family being just aunty on her own, she became depressed and also passed away a year later. As for this eldest princess from Qian Zhou, she apparently has a similar story to aunty and her husband. Thinking about it, uncle Emperor must have thought of aunty when he saw this eldest princess.”
Feng Yu Heng looked at the eldest princess once more, she originally had reservations about the joke bet between Xuan Tian Ge and Ren Xi Feng, but now that she had heard this story, she firmly believed that Ren Xi Feng would definitely lose.
Having a princess with a similar story to the eldest princess of Da Shun come as the special envoy to Da Shun, she definitely did not believe it was a coincidence. Just looking at how the Emperor looked at the eldest princess with a complicated expression then casually gave away two bolts of moon palace silk, Qian Zhou had played this move very well.
“But I don’t know what she will set her sights on.” She looked at Xuan Tian Ge, “Take a guess. If it’s as you say, and she’s hiding evil intentions, where will she try to grab?”
Xuan Tian Ge pondered for a long time but shook her head, “I don’t know. A-Heng, you know that I am not good at these things. How about you talk about it?”
She suddenly began smiling, “I would guess that there is a chance that hand will reach towards my family.”
Sure enough, the young princess that had received the moon palace silk was extremely happy. Princess Kang Yi then said: “Coming to Da Shun this time, Kang Yi was also entrusted with something by brother Emperor. I must personally thank one of Da Shun’s officials for his grace.”
“Oh?” The Emperor asked her: “Which one would that be?”
Kang Yi replied: “The prime minister of Da Shun, Feng Jin Yuan, Lord Feng.”
Feng Yu Heng shrugged. Bullseye!
1: Different from the surname of Fung Tian Yu.