The Reaper Has Come
That night, Feng Jin Yuan remained in Yu Lan courtyard.
When news of this made its way to Tian Xiang courtyard, Kang Yi was waiting expectantly for Feng Jin Yuan to return to drink the nuptial cup of wine. She had been starving for the entire day and had not yet eaten anything. The food on the table had been heated then reheated again. In the end, it only came back with news of Feng Jin Yuan remaining in Yu Lan courtyard.
The servant Xia Chan said to her: “I heard that concubine mother Han’s belly suddenly began hurting, and master was invited over. Perhaps he was truly unable to leave that side, thus master…”
“He should.” Kang Yi had an understanding and generous expression: “Of all grand things, one’s son is always the most important. Even if husband returned to this side tonight, as long as something happened in Yu Lan courtyard, I would have sent him to take a look.” While saying this, she changed out of her wedding dress and into her normal clothes. She then hurriedly told the servants to prepare some tonics and said to Xia Chan: “Let us also go and take a look. Younger sister Han has a weak body, so it would be best if nothing happened.”
Xia Chan did not say anything. Kang Yi was now the head wife, so she naturally had this right. Moreover, the matriarch also ordered Xia Chan to remain at Kang Yi’s side to observe her daily actions. Right now, she was doing very well.
The tonics in Tian Xiang courtyard were prepared very quickly, and Kang Yi did not bring along many people. She only brought Xia Chan and two other servants that had come from Qian Zhou. The four then hurried over to Han shi’s side.
Because it had snowed during the day, the roads were very slippery. When they finally arrived at Yu Lan courtyard with great difficulty, they found that the entire courtyard had already gone dark. Not a single light was lit.
A servant that was keeping watch saw them and quickly saluted. Kang Yi was puzzled and asked: “Wasn’t it said that concubine mother Han was not feeling well? I came over to take a look.” With her marrying into the Feng family, her not referring to herself as “This one” was a form a respect.
The servant that was keeping watch was a little troubled upon hearing this. After pondering a little, she finally responded: “Responding to madam, concubine mother is already feeling a little better, but her mood is unstable. Master is sleeping with her to keep her company. Going to disrupt them now… I fear would be improper.”
Kang Yi was stunned. He had gone to sleep. This was truly the greatest mockery possible. With a new wife entering the manor, the groom chose to sleep in a concubine’s room. What sort of situation was this? She had originally wanted to come over and take a look before bringing Feng Jin Yuan back, but now that he had gone to sleep, if she went in to wake him up, that would be her mistake. Once Han shi was given a shock, any reaction that her belly had would be a crime too heavy for her to bear!
Kang Yi pondered for a while then very quickly returned to her normal self: “It can’t be helped. I brought some tonics over. Just keep them for now. Remember to tell husband tomorrow morning that I came to visit.”
“Ok!” The servant quickly received the tonic and repeatedly thanked Kang Yi. Only after sending Kang Yi off did the servant let out a sigh of relief. What sort of situation was this? Fortunately, the new madam did not get angry, otherwise, perhaps there would be no peace this night.
On the day of the wedding, Kang Yi remained in an empty room alone; however, she did not appear to have any complaints. Instead, she said to Xia Chan: “Don’t tell mother about this matter to keep her from feeling disgusted.”
At dawn the next morning, Feng Jin Yuan went directly from Tian Xiang courtyard to court. The Emperor had clearly given him five days of wedding leave; however, he did not take a single day off.
But this day was also the day for the new wife to serve tea to the matriarch. Kang Yi changed into clean clothes early in the morning then went to Shu Ya courtyard with her servants.
At the same time as the new wife serving tea to the matriarch, the concubines had to serve tea to the new wife. That’s why, when Kang Yi arrived, An shi, Han shi and Jin Zhen were already in the hall. When they saw Kang Yi enter, they all stood up.
Kang Yi quickly went over to support Han shi, saying with concern: “Younger sister’s body is important. I am unable to receive this courtesy. Quickly be seated.” While saying this, her expression was calm and dignified.
Han shi’s complexion today was very good. Her face rosy and shiny. Hearing Kang Yi’s words, she revealed a bit of shyness. Having Kang Yi help her sit back down, she appeared as smug as it was possible to be. But Kang Yi’s attitude was great. Not only did she help Han shi sit down, she also said very kindly to her: “Elder sister does not know how to help. From this day forward, if you require anything, you must tell me. We are now a family. We must look after the Feng family’s children together.”
The matriarch watched Kang Yi’s actions and expressions, and she was very satisfied, nodding repeatedly.
Seeing that Han shi was properly seated, Kang Yi finally let go. Returning to the center of the hall, she received a pot of tea from the maidservant and calmly stepped forward, kneeling in front of the matriarch “Daughter-in-law has come to pour tea for mother. Having married into the Feng family, I am only concerned with the Feng family’s matters. From this day forward, Kang Yi will no longer be the eldest princess of Qian Zhou. I will only be the daughter-in-law that takes care of mother.” Saying this, she raised the cup of tea above her head then bent a little at the waist.
The matriarch’s feelings of vanity inflated once more. Even in her dreams before, she had never thought that there would come a day where the eldest princess of Qian Zhou would say such things to her, and she even called her mother. This sort of respect, regardless of when it was said, was something that gave a great deal of face!
She smiled and received the cup of tea. Taking a sip, she placed it on the table then went to help Kang Yi up. She repeatedly praised her: “You really are very understanding.”
“Thank you, mother, for the praise.” Kang Yi had indeed completely let go of her status as the eldest princess. In front of the matriarch, she acted like someone of the younger generation, and this caused the matriarch to feel elated.
“I already heard about what happened yesterday.” The matriarch gestured for Kang Yi to sit at her side then continued: “Han shi is currently pregnant, so it is unavoidable that she will act a little spoiled. Don’t lower yourself to her level.” Saying this, she glared at Han shi, “Jin Yuan is also worried about the child in her belly, and he is not trying to trouble you. You absolutely must not take it to heart.”
Kang Yi quickly said: “What sort of thing is mother saying. Protecting the children of the Feng family is daughter-in-law’s most important mission. Daughter-in-law is the head wife of the Feng family. The child in younger sister Han’s belly is the same as my child. Even if husband did not go over on his own, Kang Yi would have also advised for him to go, but I did not think to alert mother, causing mother to worry too.”
The matriarch smiled and said: “Being able to think like this is good. Either way, once that child is born, it will need to call you mother, and it will rely on you. It’s not just that unborn child, it’s also the other young master and young misses of the manor. They are also the same.”
“Daughter-in-law will adhere to mother’s teachings. I definitely will treat the manor’s children well.” Kang Yi smiled and promised.
Seeing that her attitude was good, the matriarch calmed down. She then glanced at the concubine before saying to Kang Yi: “Just sit back and allow them to offer you tea.”
Kang Yi quickly sat up straight, as a servant brought tea over to the three concubines. After the three received the tea, they walked over to Kang Yi and were about to kneel when Kang Yi suddenly said: “No need to kneel. Younger sister Han’s body is important. Kneeling is not necessary. Pouring the tea is enough.”
The three looked at the matriarch and saw her nod. Only then did they do as Kang Yi said, slightly bowing and offering the tea while standing.
After the concubines finished offering her tea, it was time for the children to greet the mother. Because they had already performed the ceremony on the day before, they only had to give a simple greeting, and there was no ritual. Feng Yu Heng also stood in the group to politely say a few words to Kang Yi. Everything appeared to be very calm.
With the courtesies taken care of, it did not appear that Feng Yu Heng would cause her any trouble. Kang Yi let out a slight sigh of relief on the inside. She was truly afraid that Feng Yu Heng would nitpick something. Everything else was fine, but she was worried that it would cause the matriarch to feel irritated.
Seeing everyone sit down, the matriarch spoke up and asked Han shi: “Are you feeling a little better today?”
Han shi smiled and nodded, “I am much better today. Second young miss was correct. My mood while pregnant was not stable, and I required husband to sleep at my side to help suppress the female energy in the air.”
“Pft!” The matriarch angrily spat a couple times, “What sort of nonsense are you spewing so early in the morning? Where would female energy be coming from?”
Han shi shut her mouth; however, Fen Dai interjected and said: “Concubine mother Han is correct. Currently, father is the only man in the manor. The entire inner courtyard is comprised of females. Of course, there would be a large amount of female energy. Concubine mother is pregnant, so she would naturally be the most sensitive to this.”
The matriarch originally wanted to scold Fen Dai, but when she thought about it, it seemed that Fen Dai had said something reasonable. If this were under normal circumstances, this would not even be a problem. Han shi had become pregnant, so having Feng Jin Yuan accompany her was fine; however, Feng Jin Yuan and Kang Yi had just gotten married. To sleep in a concubine’s room the night of the wedding was truly too unreasonable. Could it be that he would need to stay with Han shi until she gave birth?
Looking at Fen Dai and Han shi, Chen Yu was filled with anger. She really could not understand, what was Fen Dai messing around at? She had spoken of the benefits of having Kang Yi enter the manor, so why did this fourth sister seem incapable of listening?
She frowned and pondered for a bit before her eyes lit up, saying: “During yesterday’s banquet, I saw that his Highness the fifth prince had come. He would occasionally look towards fourth sister. Thinking about it, it seems that he could not forget about it. Previously, our manor did not have anyone to help decide on marriages for us sisters. Now, it is different, as we now have mother to help support us. Fourth sister, if you have any matters, you must remember to tell mother about it.”
She used this matter to remind Fen Dai, and it finally managed to capture her attention, as she shut her mouth. Thinking quickly, when she spoke once more, she overturned what she had said earlier: “I heard that offering an invitation to a Bodhisattva could protect the peace, so Fen Dai was thinking that father always accompanying concubine mother would not be reasonable. Doesn’t our family’s temple have a Bodhisattva? Could we bring it to our Yu Lan courtyard to be venerated? We will have concubine mother personally enshrine it. First, it will help calm concubine mother’s mood, and second, it will help preserve the manor’s peace.”
The matriarch knew that this was Chen Yu coming to the rescue. Although she mentioned the fifth prince, which caused her to feel a little unhappy, if she did not mention him, Fen Dai truly would not have been suppressed. In any case, Feng Jin Yuan was freed up, thus the matriarch nodded, “There is indeed a jade Guan Yin. At a later time, I will have granny Zhao bring you to fetch it!”
Kang Yi looked at Chen Yu gratefully then said to the children: “Since you have called me mother, I will take on the responsibilities of being your mother. In the future, regardless of what happens, come and tell mother about it. In my heart, you and Ru Jia all have the same weight and are the same.”
The matriarch felt that this was very well-said, as she praised it repeatedly. She then recalled a matter and said: “Previously, the family did not have a head wife, so the management of the manor’s affairs had been left to me. Now that Kang Yi has come, I will hand over the management of these affairs to you. I will leave the matters of the manor to you!”
Upon hearing this, Kang Yi repeatedly waved her hand, saying: “Mother, I absolutely do not dare!” Seeing that the matriarch had a face filled with doubt, she explained: “Kang Yi is from Qian Zhou, and I have never come to Da Shun before. I do not have any understanding of the situation of Da Shun, and I do not know what things are good. I also do not have any understanding of what things cost, in fact, I don’t even know what sorts of food the people of Da Shun usually eat. Mother, daughter-in-law absolutely does not dare take over handling the manor’s affairs.”
The matriarch was already reluctant to hand over control. Now that she heard her say this, she felt that it was very reasonable, thus she nodded and said: “That’s fine. Then just come and learn from me for a while. When you have become accustomed to handling things, I will leave it to you to handle!”
After saying this, she saw a young servant hastily run inside. After bowing to everyone, she said with a face full of concern: “Reporting to elder madam and madam, th-the ninth prince ha-has come to the manor…”