A Thief Has Come
The people in the Feng family all began to ponder. Even Feng Yu Heng was unable to avoid taking a look.
Gu Shu from the Southern border was separated from Da Shun by an uninhabited area. It was similar to Qian Zhou, as both were on the extremes. One was covered in ice for the entire year, and one was extremely hot. This led to the people of Qian Zhou having whiter skin, while the people of Gu Shu had darker skin.
The rules for the four surrounding countries was for two to come during the first, and the other two would come on the 15th. Today was the sixth, so it was not too surprising for the special envoy from Gu Shu to have arrived. But she had some doubts. Why would the special envoy from Gu Shu come to the Feng manor?
Feng Jin Yuan’s question immediately received a response, as that person said: “Prime minister Feng has good eyes. This lowly prince is the second prince of Gu Shu, Fan Tian He. Greetings to Prime minister Feng.” Raising the corners of his lips, he saluted Feng Jin Yuan. When he stood back up, his face became even more feminine.
Even though she felt very guilty and a little embarrassed, upon hearing that they were from Gu Shu, the matriarch feared that she would cause problems for Feng Jin Yuan, thus she quickly said to Fan Tian He: “So your Highness was from Gu Shu. Please do not blame this old one for mistaking your identity. It truly is a grave mistake.”
The woman at Fan Tian He’s side interjected: “Elder madam is being too severe. Us siblings came very abruptly and should apologize to you.”
Feng Jin Yuan quickly asked: “Would you be the princess of Gu Shu?”
Fan Tian He nodded, “My younger sister is called Fan Tian Man, and she is the seventh princess of Gu Shu.”
Fan Tian Man giggled and saluted to Feng Jin Yuan: “Paying respects to Prime minister Feng.”
Feng Jin Yuan quickly returned a salute, “I don’t dare. Paying respects to the princess.”
As the group stood in the yard exchanging greetings, the matriarch quickly reminded Feng Jin Yuan: “Quickly invite his Highness and the princess to sit in the hall.”
Who knew that Fan Tian He would wave his hand and say: “No need. This lowly prince came today to send some things and will be leaving after that.” Saying this, he clapped his hands, and a group of people came in from outside the manor with large boxes.
Feng Jin Yuan was puzzled, “Your Highness, these are…”
Fan Tian He did not respond to his question. Instead, he turned to Kang Yi, “Upon entering the capital, this lowly prince heard that eldest princess was living in a prime minister’s manor, so I also came chasing over. These are gifts brought as a betrothal gift from Gu Shu to request a marriage with the eldest princess of Qian Zhou.”
“What?” Feng Jin Yuan immediately became angry, “What does your Highness from Gu Shu intend?”
Fan Tian He’s eyes continued to stare at Kang Yi, completely ignoring Feng Jin Yuan. It was the younger sister to his side, Fan Tian Man, who spoke up for him: “Imperial brother’s meaning is that he is asking the eldest princess of Qian Zhou for her hand in marriage. Speaking of this matter, it is truly unrelated to Lord Feng. It is just that eldest princess is living here, thus we have come to disturb you. At a later date, we will definitely bring a gift for Lord Feng!”
With her providing an explanation, Fan Tian He also began speaking to Kang Yi: “Gu Shu and Qian Zhou have two seasons between the two of Winter and Summer. If it were not because we were coming to Da Shun to offer tribute, it would truly be too difficult to meet up. This lowly prince was fortunate to have met eldest princess eight years ago on the border of Qian Zhou, and I have not forgotten after all these years. Having already asked permission from my father emperor, I was especially given this opportunity to come to Da Shun to offer gifts to eldest princess. I hope that eldest princess will look upon me with favor.”
“No!” Kang Yi did not speak; however, Feng Jin Yuan was the first to get angry, “Prince of Gu Shu, this place is Da Shun. If you wish to inquire about marriage, go to Qian Zhou to inquire. To do this in my Da Shun, what sort of rules are you abiding by?”
The words that he had said in his agitation caused the princess of Gu Shu, Fan Tian Man, to begin giggling. It was as though she had heard the funniest joke of her life, as she doubled over in laughter.
Fan Tian He helplessly looked at his younger sister and said: “You can’t be so unreasonable.”
“But doesn’t imperial brother find it funny?” She raised her face to look at her elder brother, “The prince of Gu Shun is asking for a marriage with the eldest princess of Qian Zhou, but a government official fo Da Shun wishes to prevent it. What is the meaning of this?”
Nobody knew what the meaning was. Even the people of the Feng family looked at Feng Jin Yuan. Aside from the matriarch, the others really wanted to know what sort of answer Feng Jin Yuan would provide for this matter.
But Feng Jin Yuan truly was the prime minister. For every moment that he was impulsive, there would be moments where he would be reasonable. Once he spoke those words, he had already found himself an excuse, as he said: “The political marriage between two countries should be conducted between the two countries. Your Highness from Gu Shu should have brought your gifts to Qian Zhou’s imperial palace. Otherwise, when the ruler of Qian Zhou comes to ask, this prime minister will not be able to handle that responsibility.”
Fan Tian He shook his head, “There is no need for Prime minister Feng to shoulder this responsibility. These things were just brought for eldest princess to take a look at. They will then be sent to the posthouse. When this lowly prince goes into the palace, I will naturally inform his Majesty. Qian Zhou is a vassal state to Da Shun. Thinking about it, if the ruler of Da Shun agrees to it, Qian Zhou will also not have a reason to refuse. Eldest princess Kang Yi, what do you think?” Fan Tian He naturally had a feminine appearance. With his long and thin eyebrows, he was indeed quite beautiful, and it caused people to want to look at him a little longer.
Feng Jin Yuan watched Kang Yi looked at Fan Tian He for a long time, and he could not help but feel his stomach burn, as he fiercely snorted in silence. He then heard Kang Yi say: “This one is the eldest princess of Qian Zhou, and I am the ruler’s eldest sister. This one has already been given the right to decide my own marriage by my brother emperor. Please forgive This one for not being able to agree to your request for marriage. Your Highness, please bring these things back, and please do not bring this matter up again.”
“Oh?” Fan Tian He thought that Kang Yi would refuse; however, he did not think that she would refuse him so clearly. It had to be known that a political marriage between the two countries was a large matter, as no matter how unhappy the one being asked for the marriage was, they had to spend a few days to weigh the pros and cons. How could Kang Yi refuse so cleanly?
While he was thinking, Fan Tian Man had turned her attention to Feng Jin Yuan. After looking for a while, she raised an eyebrow and suddenly asked: “I heard that Prime minister Feng went to the North to relieve the disaster before the new year. Thinking about it, you must have returned to the capital together with eldest princess Kang Yi, right? No wonder eldest princess wanted to live in the Feng manor. It turns out that they were already acquainted.”
Fan Tian He picked up on what his younger sister had said, “Man’er means to say that this prince was too late?”
“That’s right!” She sighed faintly, “Imperial brother has fallen behind Prime minister Feng this time; however, I wonder where eldest princess’ heart lies.”
Kang Yi’s face had turned bright red from what the two were saying. Even Ru Jia had lost it, pointing at the siblings and saying: “Have you two come to ask for marriage or to steal a bride? If you have come to ask, then I will tell you, my mother will not marry! If you have come to steal her away, then have your country’s ruler speak to my Qian Zhou’s ruler. There is no point in arguing tediously here.”
“Eh?” Fan Tian Man looked at Ru Jia in surprise and said: “What mother is she talking about? She’s the eldest princess’ daughter?”
Fan Tian He nodded, “Indeed. Eldest princess has a daughter named Princess Ru Jia. Thinking about it, it should be this one.”
“Oh.” Fan Tian Man nodded then said to Ru Jia: “Young princess, please calm your anger. The matters between your elders should be resolved by the elders.” What is a child like you speaking up for.
Kang Yi grabbed Ru Jia’s arm and gave her a look telling her to shut her mouth. She then said: “This one’s meaning is already very clear. Gu Shu and Qian Zhou are very far apart. This one does not wish to marry into a place that is that far away. Moreover, the people of Qian Zhou have become accustomed to living in the icy-cold weather. I fear that I will not be able to grow accustomed to the extreme heat.”
Fan Tian He looked at Kang Yi then looked at Feng Jin Yuan. He once again determined that there was definitely something happening in private between the two. He had heard that eldest princess Kang Yi was a woman with great intelligence. She definitely would not have refused his marriage request without reason. Qian Zhou and Gu Shu were on opposites sides of Da Shun. If they could become a little closer through this political marriage, they would be able to trap Da Shun in the middle!
He stared at Kang Yi with his sharp eyes, as though he wanted to find some truth from her gaze. But after a long time, he only saw Kang Yi’s dignified resolution and a pair of eyes that were clear like water.
“That’s fine.” He did not insist. Raising his hand, he immediately had the servants pick up the boxes and carry them out. “Since princess is resolute, this lowly prince will not insist. I will bring this matter up to the Majesty of Da Shun when entering the palace tomorrow. I hope that princess will be able to think things over.”
After saying this, he cupped his hands to Feng Jin Yuan then turned and left. Fan Tian Man also followed him out; however, she glanced at Kang Yi right before leaving and said: “Getting married to my second brother is not a loss. It would be best if eldest princess could think about the future of Qian Zhou.”
Kang Yi did not make a sound, but Feng Jin Yuan flew into a rage. Watching the two leave, he loudly said: “There is no need to think it over! The eldest princess of Qian Zhou definitely will not marry into Gu Shu!”
“Jin Yuan!” The matriarch saw the group of people from Gu Shu exit the manor before finally slamming her cane to the ground and loudly saying: “You must remember your own standing!”
“Mother!” Feng Jin Yuan looked at the matriarch. He then looked at the grief-stricken Kang Yi and the absolutely livid Ru Jia. Gritting his teeth, he said frankly: “Son will go into the palace tomorrow. I hope that mother will support this decision.”
Although his words did not make anything clear, the people of the Feng family knew what he meant. Jin Zhen’s eyes immediately turned red, as she weakly asked: “What is… husband talking about?”
Feng Jin Yuan glanced at Jin Zhen. His eyes no longer had any of the doting love that he had shown her previously, as he coldly snorted and said: “When his Majesty has given a reply tomorrow, you will naturally be informed.”
An shi bowed to the matriarch, “When husband speaks, this concubine has no right to interject. Third young miss is wearing too little, so this concubine will be bringing third young miss back first.”
The matriarch nodded, “Go!” She then looked at Jin Zhen and said: “You can go back too.” Turning around, she placed her hand on granny Zhao’s wrist, “Let’s also go. I am getting old. I am unable to concern myself with such matters. Do whatever the master tells you to do!”
Seeing everyone leave one by one, only Feng Yu Heng and Chen Yu remained. Feng Yu Heng had an appearance that showed she did not care, making it clear that she was just watching a play. Chen Yu, however, looked at Kang Yi with some happiness, saying to her: “Chen Yu also feels that eldest princess is connected by fate. I hope that we can become closer. Chen Yu will be returning first and hope that father will be able to bring back good news tomorrow.” After saying this, she saluted to Kang Yi and Feng Jin Yuan before quickly leaving with Xing’er.
Ru Jia glared at Feng Yu Heng and said: “Why have you not left?”
Feng Yu Heng replied with a question: “This is my home. Where should I go? Princess Ru Jia, how are you not even able to understand such things?”
This time, Ru Jia was not infuriated by what she said. Instead, she laughed and said: “County princess, just enjoy a few more happy days!”
Feng Yu Heng laughed, “What is it? Is Princess Ru Jia interested in changing your surname to Feng? I will just tell you this, even if you do change it, this place is mine.” After saying this, she smiled and looked at Feng Jin Yuan, “Father, what do you say?”
Feng Jin Yuan immediately shivered and recalled that the Feng manor’s deed was presently in Feng Yu Heng’s hands. If she insisted that this residence belonged to her, there really was nothing that he could do.
At this time, the prince and princess of Gu Shu were seated in their carriage and returning to the posthouse. Just in front of the two was a hidden guard with his head down, who heard Fan Tian He quietly say: “Go back and tell your general that this prince has already done my best. I hope that his promise to this prince will be honored.”