You Truly Do Not View Yourself as an Outsider
Ru Jia blankly tugged at Kang Yi’s sleeve, as she angrily said: “Mother, this family bullies people a little too much. They are truly looking down on us!”
Kang Yi finally regained focus from being tugged at, and she immediately recovered her dignified aura. Looking at Zi Rui, her gaze gave off a maternal aura: “You are county princess Ji An’s younger brother, right? When did you return to the capital? This one heard that you were studying away from home. That is why I had overlooked you. This was this one’s mistake. Would it be fine if this one apologized to you?”
An adult taking the initiative to apologize to a child was already very rare; moreover, she was a princess. She thought to herself, any family’s child should be satisfied with that. But Feng Zi Rui shook his head and cupped his hands, saying: “Eldest princess has been courteous. Zi Rui is indeed county princess Ji An’s younger brother. There is no need for eldest princess to apologize to Zi Rui. Zi Rui was quiet and has no complaints. But, just now, Princess Ru Jia had complaints about Zi Rui’s senior disciple, and this…”
“So what if I said something about your senior disciple?” Ru Jia rolled her eyes, “A guest has come to your home, yet you insist on going to play chess. Is he the king of heaven? Can’t you just send a servant to dismiss him?”
Feng Jin Yuan was truly unable to continue listening, as he fiercely slammed the table, shouting: “Princess Ru Jia! Please stop speaking!”
Ru Jia trembled in fear, and Kang Yi even realized that something was off, quickly scolding Ru Jia: “My dear child, how many times have I told you that you are no longer in Qian Zhou. Do you honestly believe that everyone will dote on you like your uncle emperor?”
Feng Jin Yuan could hear the unhappiness in Kang Yi’s voice, but he had no time to worry about her happiness, simply saying: “This lowly one’s son’s senior disciple is none other than the current Emperor. I hope that the two princesses will forgive this prime minister for finding it difficult to tell you.”
“What did you say?” Kang Yi’s voice had changed, as she could not help but look toward Zi Rui. This child’s senior disciple was the Emperor? Da Shun’s ruler? Why had she not heard about it when she inquired about the Feng family? Kang Yi suddenly realized that there had been a problem somewhere in her information network. In her surprise, she suddenly stood up: “Prime minister Feng, Kang Yi did not know about this at all. Ru Jia was even more ignorant!”
Ru Jia was also dazed. She never thought that this brat had this sort of background? Also, did what she just said count as insulting the Emperor of Da Shun? Right before coming, her uncle emperor had said that she absolutely could not offend the Emperor of Da Shun.
“Those that are ignorant cannot be blamed.” Feng Jin Yuan could see that Kang Yi and Ru Jia were clueless, so he could only smile and say: “This lowly one’s son indeed does have an arrangement with his Majesty. This prime minister will have someone send him to the palace. With the feast already prepared, I will leave mother to accompany the two princesses!”
Kang Yi had a remorseful expression and said: “All right.” She then looked at Feng Zi Rui: “Young master is a talented person. Today is Kang Yi’s fault for not being thorough in considerations. I will definitely bring a gift at a different time to make up for it.”
Zi Rui was not modest, saluting and saying: “Many thanks eldest princess. Zi Rui will be leaving.” After saying this, he followed Feng Jin Yuan and quickly left.
Feng Yu Heng covered her mouth, as she found the look that Zi Rui gave her right before leaving extremely funny. This child… truly gave her face!
The group followed the matriarch to the hall to enjoy the feast. Normally, the Feng family was not very strict with the rules about where the wife and concubines sat. Because Feng Jin Yuan did not have a large number of concubines, they would all eat at the same table.
But today was different. Today, they were entertaining princesses from Qian Zhou. If they continued to act so disorderly, it would be a little hard to excuse, thus the matriarch specially separated the feast into two groups, placing An shi, Han shi and Jin Zhen in a different area. The young misses of concubines were still considered proper masters, so they were able to eat with the princess.
Because of the matter with Zi Rui, Kang Yi and Ru Jia had no face. After sitting down, although Kang Yi maintained her dignified aura, and Ru Jia greatly reduced her arrogance, they could still tell that the Feng family’s attitude towards them was now fainter. It was no longer as good as before.
Kang Yi was thinking of a way to salvage the situation, but at this time, a servant that had gone to fetch the ink fox hide had returned. This solved a problem for Kang Yi.
“Why were you gone for so long?” She casually asked then stood up and walked over, personally receiving the ink fox hide. “Elder madam, please take a look. This is the ink fox that only appears in Qian Zhou.”
Everyone looked over and saw a black light come from the hide. The luster was extremely great. Watching Kang Yi use her hand to support it, it looked as though it were still alive.
What was most amazing was that even the head and face had been skinned from the fox. The hide that had been removed from the head was filled with something that gave it a realistic feel. With its eyes slightly closed, it did not appear to be dead. It was clearly just enjoying a light sleep.
The matriarch liked it a great deal. She wanted to reach out and touch it, but she also did not want to disrupt the fox’s rest. This caused her to feel a temptation that was hard to resist.
“Does elder madam like it?” Kang Yi saw how much the matriarch liked it, but she still asked this. She then said: “Ink foxes are hard to hunt, and commoners do not have the right to hunt it. This is an ink fox personally hunted by the ruler of Qian Zhou. We will gift it to elder madam to make an overcoat.”
“It really was hunted by the ruler of Qian Zhou?” The matriarch was truly happy, “That makes it truly too valuable!”
“Only valuable things are worthy of elder madam!” This was said by Ru Jia. This girl’s personality was quite good. Although she was truly unwilling to part with it, once she understood that the situation could not be changed, she would immediately accept any means to make the person before her happy. “Elder madam is of a noble standing and needs an overcoat made from ink fox hide.”
The matriarch smiled beautifully on the inside, as she quickly received the hide. Hugging it, she was unwilling to let go. In the end, it was granny Zhao who felt that this was a little too unprofessional. After pressing a few times, she finally managed to get it out of her hands then personally went to put it away.
As for the attitude that the matriarch showed when dealing with Kang Yi, it had changed once again. Originally, because of the matter with Zi Rui, she felt disgruntled, but that was swept away and replaced with a warm feeling.
Kang Yi just picked up her chopsticks then, seemingly by accident, looked towards the table where the concubines sat. She the faintly sighed and asked the matriarch: “Elder madam, Kang Yi will ask something that should not be asked. Does the manor usually eat meals separated into two tables?”
The matriarch smiled and said: “Not to hide it from eldest princess, but there usually are no outsiders. Jin Yuan does not have many concubines, so we will eat together. Today, eldest princess and Princess Ru Jia have come to the manor. They absolutely are not worthy of being in the limelight.” She said this while looking towards Chen Yu, Xiang Rong and Fen Dai then added, “Normally speaking, even the daughters of concubines should not be allowed at this table, but there are not many from the younger generation in this manor. If they did not sit here, it would inevitably feel too quiet.”
These words made Chen Yu and Fen Dai feel suffocated! But no matter how suffocated they felt, what of it? A child of a concubine was a child of a concubine. There was absolutely nothing wrong with what the matriarch had said. It was Xiang Rong that did not think much of it, as the tea she held did not sway at all.
At this time, Feng Yu Heng, who had not spoken for a long time, suddenly said: “I seem to have heard that they do not distinguish and clearly between wife and concubine in Qian Zhou, and there are not as many rules as there are in Da Shun, is that right?”
Kang Yi smiled and nodded, “County princess is indeed very correct. In my Qian Zhou, having the wife and the concubines eat at the same table could not be more common. That’s why I was thinking… Elder madam, since that table only has three people, how about everyone sits together.”
“Oh! That would not be good!” The matriarch was a little surprised. Normally, even normal nobles looked down on concubines, but she never thought that the eldest princess would actually allow the concubines to sit and eat with her.
“There’s nothing bad about it.” Kang Yi said: “Although we should follow the rules of the hosts, Kang Yi still hopes elder madam will not treat us mother and daughter as outsiders. Since it is a family feast, everything can be done according to the daily rules of the Feng manor.”
The matriarch was a little hesitant. For a while, she was unable to make a decision and looked toward Feng Yu Heng.
Feng Yu Heng smiled and said: “This is one of eldest princess’ wishes. Having the wife and the concubines sitting at the same table is also one of Qian Zhou’s rules. Grandmother, how about doing as eldest princess requested!”
Ru Jia was unable to notice the underlying message of this comment, but when Kang Yi heard it, she once again firmly believed that this county princess Ji An’s mind was indeed not just for show.
Wife and concubines sitting at the same table, did this make her the wife? Follow the eldest princess, everything will be done according to the princess. This had turned her from a guest into the host.
But Kang Yi chose to play dumb. Seeing the matriarch nod, she took the initiative to stand up and go invite the other three over to their table.
An shi felt amazed, feeling that Kang Yi was smooth and steady in her actions. It was no loss that she was a foreign princess. But when it came to Han shi and Jin Zhen, they felt that this was the greatest grace. Overwhelmed by this unexpected favor, they repeatedly thanked her for her grace, and Han shi appeared to be on the verge of tears.
The matriarch looked at Kang Yi and could not help but secretly sigh. Unfortunately, her husband had died early, otherwise, he would have lived such a happy life with such a virtuous wife.
Very quickly, Feng Jin Yuan returned. When he entered, he just happened to see the concubines being invited from the other table. His heart was also filled with gratitude.
Ru Jia was the first to see Feng Jin Yuan, warmly shouting: “Lord Feng has returned!”
Feng Jin Yuan smiled and said: “Is princess accustomed to Da Shun’s food?”
Ru Jia giggled and said: “Yes, I find it to be very delicious.”
Kang Yi smiled then said: “How old of a girl are you now, yet all you worry about is eating.”
While they spoke, Feng Jin Yuan walked to the front. Originally, he should have been sitting between the matriarch and Feng Yu Heng, but with the other three people being invited over, the seating was a bit messed up. At this time, the only seat that remained was next to Kang Yi.
Feng Yu Heng looked at the empty seat, as her lips curled into a wicked smile, saying: “Father, quickly be seated. Just now, some tea spilled onto your seat, and it was eldest princess who personally wiped it with her sleeve. Father, do not waste princess’ kindness.”
These words caused Kang Yi to feel very embarrassed, but she was someone who had survived many challenging experiences, so her heart was hardened. Her embarrassment lasted only a moment before she said: “It’s a feast celebrating the new year. The children of the Northern country do not trifle over small matters. Why bother a servant with it. Prime minister Feng had saved plenty of Qian Zhou’s citizens while relieving the Winter disaster. No matter what Kang Yi does, it can not be considered much.”
Feng Jin Yuan laughed loudly, his heart filled with joy. Walking over to Kang Yi’s side, he sat down.
At first, the matriarch did not feel that there was anything wrong, but after Feng Jin Yuan sat down, Chen Yu stood up and went to pour wine for her father. Previously, this was mostly done by Chen Yu. A daughter pouring wine for her father could not be more normal, and Feng Jin Yuan was accustomed to this, so he pushed his cup forward.
But right before Chen Yu could pour this wine, another pot of wine reached over and filled it before Chen Yu could.
Chen Yu froze and saw Ru Jia giggling and leaning close to Feng Jin Yuan, very warmly saying: “Uncle Feng, please drink.” She had gone from calling him Lord Feng to calling him uncle Feng.
Feng Yu Heng laughed. After laughing, she leaned back in her chair then quietly asked Huang Quan, who was standing behind her: “That person should be arriving, right?”
Huang Quan said: “It should be another moment at most. Young miss, how about you try counting to ten?”
Feng Yu Heng laughed even harder, “Very well!” She then quietly counted down from ten. Ten, nine, eight, seven… three, two, one.
At this time, housekeeper He Zhong hastily ran in from outside the hall.