The Ninth Prince’s Betrothal Gift
“What?” The matriarch, Feng Jin Yuan and Chen shi simultaneously exclaimed. Even the extremely steady An shi was shocked.
Feng Yu Heng blinked a few times. What was this imperial king business?
An shi looked at Feng Yu Heng and saw that she clearly did not understand. She whispered to her: “Two years ago, the ninth prince left on his expedition. At that time, the Emperor conferred upon him the title of Grand Marshall, and he also inherited the title of Prince Yu1.
She purposefully did not hide what was said, as such, the words were heard by Chen shi. She sourly responded: “So what if he inherited the title. Now that he can’t even have a child, who will take him.”
An shi frowned, she had no intention of wasting words with Chen shi. She immediately stopped talking.
Feng Yu Heng understood at last. So that person was Prince Yu! She turned around and faced Chen shi and smiled, “Is mother protecting A-Heng from being taken advantage of? A-Heng thanks mother for her concern.”
Chen shi rolled her eyes and wanted to tell her not to suffer from an unrequited love, but she was stopped by Feng Chen Yu.
“Grandmother, father, mother, we should quickly go to the front yard to take a look!” Chen Yu reminded everyone. Thus everyone in the room moved towards the front yard.
On the way, Feng Yu Heng pulled An shi and quietly asked: “What is the ninth prince’s full name?”
An shi thought about it, “I think it was Xuan Tian Ming.”
“Xuan Tian Ming.” She made a note of it. “It sounds pretty good.”
As the group of people reached the front yard, they saw the housekeeper, He Zhong, speaking obsequiously to an elderly woman.
That elderly woman wore a brown, imperial outfit. She was tall and had an extraordinary temperament. She stood alone and was not someone the housekeeper of the Feng manor could afford.
Watching He Zhong speak while smiling in extreme delight, the elderly woman continued to observe what was before her. Her lower jaw slightly raised, she did not pay attention to a single word he said.
Seeing this person, how could the Feng family matriarch and Feng Jin Yuan not know her identity. At the ninth prince’s side there was only one granny, Zhou shi. She was a royally appointed lady.
This Zhou shi was not married. Not only did she look after the ninth prince, she had been a personal attendant to imperial concubine Yun from a young age. Even more, when the ninth prince was two years old, she had risked her life to rescue the ninth prince from a huge fire that broke out in imperial concubine Yun’s room. Doing this, she preserved the royal bloodline.
Not here to discuss the well-being of the ninth prince, lady Zhou was someone that the Emperor considered valuable. There would often be imperial decrees to call her to court.
Since lady Zhou had personally come to deliver betrothal gifts, everyone could not help but take a few looks at Feng Yu Heng, each of them developing their own ideas.
Feng Jin Yuan took two steps and arrived in front of lady Zhou. He raised his hands and greeted her: “I did not know that the lady would personally come to the manor. Excuse me for not going out to welcome you, I hope the lady will not blame me.”
The Feng family matriarch, with others supporting her stiff waist, also arrived. She wanted to greet her, but her waist simply would not allow her to. She tried for quite some time, but still could not complete a bow.
Lady Zhou had gotten used to seeing many different scenes, and naturally would not fuss over an elderly woman. She lightly said: “Elder lady’s body is not well, no need to be over-courteous.”
The matriarch could be less polite, but the others could not.
Behind her, Chen shi brought the women forward and bowed. Feng Yu Heng bowed along with them, but did not a sound allowing them to rise for a long time.
The matriarch took note of lady Zhou’s actions. She saw her circle the group of people who were bowed down, as if she were looking for someone. In the end, her gaze stopped at the sight of a small and weak body.
After a long while, the people who were bowed down finally heard “You may rise, no need to be more polite.” Before she even had the chance to rise, she was helped up by someone nearby.
“This person is the one to marry Prince Yu, the Feng family’s second daughter and daughter to the first wife, right?” Lady Zhou put away her dignified appearance and donned a kindly one.
Feng Yu Heng raised her head and found herself face to face with a face full of goodwill.
But the mention of Feng family’s daughter to the first wife…
“The lady is mistaken.” Feng Jin Yuan answered, “This is indeed my second daughter, but she is not the daughter of my first wife.”
Chen shi also raised her voice, “That’s right, our Feng manor’s daughter of the first wife is Chen Yu.” As she spoke, she brought Chen Yu forward. “Quickly Chen Yu, come greet lady Zhou.”
Feng Chen Yu carefully made sure to display her Guanyin impression and greeted her: “Chen Yu greets lady Zhou.”
Lady Zhou did not look at the people that spoke, her eyes continued to rest on Feng Yu Heng’s face, but she did reply: “This old body recalls that when the marriage to the ninth prince was agreed upon, the second young miss was the Feng family’s daughter to the first wife.”
Feng Jin Yuan was very embarrassed, “The lady might not know, but there were some changes in Feng manor a few years ago. Thus, A-Heng is no longer the daughter of the first wife.”
As soon as those words left his mouth, Feng Chen Yu added a few more: “Although she is no longer the daughter of the first wife in name, second sister continued to copy the mannerisms of the daughter of the first wife within the manor, never slacking off in the slightest.”
As she spoke, Feng Jin Yuan immediately reacted. With this matter, if the marriage agreement required it be the daughter of the first wife in the Feng manor, then he would be forced to marry off Feng Chen Yu. Although it was said that the ninth prince’s body was ruined, his power and influence remained. The Emperor’s imperial favor did not seem to be waning either. Although he was a prime minister, his foundation was quite poor. Even more so when compared to someone with a better foundation, so he had no way to compete with a prince!
However, Chen Yu most definitely could not be allowed to marry a worthless person.
Thinking of this, Feng Jin Yuan quickly added: “Chen Yu is right. A-Heng… The lady also knows the matter with the Yao family… Did not want to trouble Jin Yuan.” He referred to himself and thought he had become more familiar with lady Zhou.
Lady Zhou ignored the father and daughter that spoke, instead she pulled Feng Yu Heng’s hand and asked: “Is what your father and sister saying the truth?”
Feng Yu Heng’s gaze never left lady Zhou’s eyes and secretly investigated, finding that the other side was earnest in looking for an answer.
She was moved and replied: “Daughter of the first wife or daughter of a concubine, these are just empty titles. A-Heng spent the past few years in the mountains and had long ago found these things to be extremely bland.” In just a few words, she made it clear that she absolutely had not been living in the Feng manor.
Lady Zhou naturally already knew of this matter; furthermore, it was clear that the Feng family was rushing to try and acquit itself. Even more, replacing the official wife with a concubine was something that was distasteful. She blankly shot Feng Jin Yuan a glance then also glanced at the matriarch and Chen shi. She then repeatedly shook her head before turning to Feng Yu Heng and consoling her: “This year, you are twelve right? Just bear with it for three more years.”
Feng Yu Heng couldn’t hold in her laughter, “The lady is too serious.”
Chen shi’s face immediately became ugly, but she did not dare speak up. She began to feel uncomfortable from bottling it up.
Feng Jin Yuan’s face did not look any better. The few times he wanted to speak up, but given the backing of lady Zhou, he could only give up.
Lady Zhou also had no intention of continuing to make a fuss over this matter. After all, she had come to the Feng manor with a task.
She lightly patted the back of Feng Yu Heng’s hand and kindly told her: “Child, wait for granny to take care of my official business, then we can properly talk.” Only then did she let go of Feng Yu Heng’s hand and turn to look towards Feng Jin Yuan: “Master Feng, the matter of marriage between Prince Yu and the Feng Family’s second young miss was agreed upon when they were little. That year, the formal proposal occurred, the characters of the bride were given to the groom, and the compatibility was checked2. Today, this old servant was told by Prince Yu to bring the betrothal gifts.”
Lady Zhou spoke, and the maidservant who was next to her brought out the gift. She personally handed it to Feng Jin Yuan, “Master Feng, take a look. See if the gift follows the rules set for the males of Da Shun dynasty.”
Feng Jin Yuan respectfully received it and seriously took a look. Chen shi also shuffled forward to take a look, and even the matriarch could not suppress her curiosity and shuffled forward.
The three only looked for a short while before their faces turned dark.
What sort of betrothal gift was this? This was the gift sent by the dignified ninth prince, Prince Yu?
Feng Chen Yu saw that their facial expression was not right and secretly advanced a few steps. Turning her attention forward, she saw written on top-
3000 taels of white silver, as thanks to the Feng family for raising her.
One betrothal pancake, eight types of seafood, two male and two female chickens, five jin3 of pork, two mud carp, four jugs of aged wine, four fruits, two canisters of tea leaves, twelve jin of rice and three and two tenths jin sugar.
Finally, there was a golden bracelet.
This type of betrothal gift made even Feng Chen Yu dazed. They looked at one another. They had no clue how to react or what to say.
Lady Zhou looked at them and hook the corner of her mouth in to a smile. She asked: “What is it. Does Master Feng have some questions?”
Feng Jin Yuan bit the bullet and asked: “I dare ask, is this the betrothal gift prepared by Prince Yu?”
Lady Zhou nodded, “Indeed it is. Is Master Feng not satisfied?”
Feng Jin Yuan felt that if he did not say something, then it’s not just a matter of Feng Yu Heng’s face, but a problem involving the face of the Feng family, thus he spoke: “I worry that this betrothal gift may be inappropriate?”
Lady Zhou smiled and asked: “Could it be that this violates my Da Shun’s manufacture process?”
Feng Jin Yuan shook his head, “Naturally that is not the case. It’s just that if this were the betrothal gift of a commoner, then that would be that. This is from the imperial family… I worry it is truly inappropriate?”
Lady Zhou smiled again, “It’s good that Master Feng knows this is the rule for commoners. His Majesty has spoken, although he is the honorable prince, he is also a citizen of Da Shun. There is no difference between him and commoners.”
With just a few words, the Emperor of Da Shun had been brought in. What more could Feng Jin Yuan say? He could only pass the betrothal gifts along to the housekeeper. He turned to lady Zhou and accepted the gift: “Since it’s like that, then this Feng family will accept the betrothal gift.”
Seeing Feng Jin Yuan accept the betrothal gift, lady Zhou nodded, “Master Feng is clear on matters of principle, and is not a detriment to Da Shun dynasty’s direction.” She stopped talking and clapped her hands together. At that moment, people started coming in to the manor carrying the betrothal gifts.
The worst part was, if they had just brought in the betrothal gifts, then it would be fine; however, there was a grand eunuch standing by the entrance singing. With each note louder than the previous note, Feng Jin Yuan wanted to summon his people to tear out his mouth, but he did not dare. These eunuchs as an existence, in court, they would be punished and struck, but outside of court, absolutely nobody had the right to touch them.
Returning to the betrothal gifts, not only was everyone in Feng manor on the verge of collapsing, Feng Yu Heng was also extremely shocked. She began to wonder if her earlier investigation of lady Zhou was a failure.
And the stiff-waisted Feng family matriarch had begun to feel her attitude towards Feng Yu Heng warm, but it once again dropped to absolute zero.
The other people in Feng manor were about the same. When they saw that lady Zhou had personally come to discuss the matter of marriage on behalf of Prince Yu, they all assumed that Prince Yu was very serious about this marriage. They worried now that there was this relationship, the Feng manor would dare to treat Yao shi and her children lightly.
Now, things were completely different!
1: In this case, Yu can also be read as royal or imperial, hence imperial king.
2: I don’t really understand it, but such are the Chinese customs.
3: 1 jin = more or less 1 pound