Anyone Who Saw Must Earn a Little
Reality showed that Xuan Tian Ming’s idea could not possibly be worth it to Ru Jia. The cost of treating her body’s injuries would be five million taels of gold.
Ru Jia still did not know about Xuan Tian Ming scamming Kang Yi of five million taels of gold. She thought to herself that although five million taels was truly too much, if she could use it to trade for her own life, her uncle emperor would definitely agree. Thus she quickly nodded, “I agree.”
Xuan Tian Ming smiled and said: “You agreeing is not worth much. This matter still requires your mother to agree.”
Ru Jia anxiously said: “Immediately send someone to the Feng manor to inform my mother. Mother will definitely agree!”
Xuan Tian Ming nodded and was just about to say good; however, Feng Yu Heng spoke up once more: “Wait, wait!”
Ru Jia glared at her sideways: “What are you wanting now?”
Feng Yu Heng said: “Five million taels of gold is not enough. I still want ten of your Qian Zhou’s Tianshan snow lotus. I want them along with the surrounding thousand-year frozen snow. Have them brought to Da Shun.”
“What?” Ru Jia was extremely shocked, “You want Tianshan snow lotus? And you also want thousand-year frozen snow?” She stared blankly at Feng Yu Heng as though she was looking at a madwoman. After a while, they heard Ru Jia suddenly begin to laugh. While laughing, she said: “Feng Yu Heng, have you lost your mind? Tianshan snow lotus grows in thousand-year frozen snow. Even if that frozen snow can last without melting for a month after leaving Qian Zhou, once it has been brought to Da Shun’s capital, it would be on the verge of melting. What use do you have for ten half-dead things like that?”
Feng Yu Heng fiddled with her nails: “Raise them for fun.”
“You won’t be able to keep them alive!”
“Whether or not I can keep them alive is my problem. Whether or not they are given is yours.” Feng Yu Heng looked at Ru Jia, her lips curling into a wicked smile.
Ru Jia gritted her teeth and said: “Fine, then I will ask you to have someone go to the Feng manor and pass along this message to my mother!”
Xuan Tian Ming immediately told the female officer at their side: “I will ask you to personally make this trip. Tell eldest princess Kang Yi about what was just agreed upon. Remember, if eldest princess agrees, bring her immediately to the government office. Along with the five million taels of gold that she promised yesterday, have it all written on an agreement. Have the governor keep a record of this.”
“Your Highness, do not worry. This servant will go handle it immediately.” The female officer complied then turned and left.
Ru Jia was stunned, “What five million taels yesterday? Wait a moment!” She wanted to call for the female officer to stop, but how could she listen to her, as she walked away. Ru Jia looked at Xuan Tian Ming and Feng Yu Heng then suddenly felt as though she had been tricked, “Exactly how much silver did you scam my mother of?”
Xuan Tian Ming corrected her: “What do you mean scam! The five million taels from yesterday are to be used to help relieve my wife of her anger. The five million taels today is to treat your injuries. Also, I must remind you once more. It’s not silver. It’s gold.”
Ru Jia nearly coughed up blood. Ten million taels? Over a couple of days, Qian Zhou had been scammed of ten million taels of gold? “You are doing this deliberately!” She shouted loudly, causing her wounds to hurt.
Feng Yu Heng looked at her and nodded, “It was deliberate. What can you do about it?”
Ru Jia gritted her teeth and said: “Don’t rejoice too much. Doesn’t Da Shun have a saying that goes, the tides ebb and flow. Sooner or later, there will come a day when you fall into my hands. When that time comes, you must be careful that I will not seek to be repaid for all that you have done today!”
Feng Yu Heng pretended to be scared while a smile remained in her eyes, “I am going to become your doctor. If you threaten me like this, how could I dare to treat you?”
Ru Jia was startled then realized that she had misspoken. She simply closed her eyes, as she would not be troubled by what she could not see.
On the other side, when the female officer arrived at the Feng manor, Kang Yi was in her study, thinking about how to write a letter to the ruler of Qian Zhou. Originally, she was supposed to write this letter yesterday, but the Cheng shi sisters had arrived at night, and someone had poisoned Han shi’s soup. She then left the manor overnight, so she did not have time to worry about these things.
The female officer was invited to Peony courtyard. When Kang Yi arrived, the Feng matriarch and Chen Yu had already sat down to accompany her. Seeing Kang Yi arrive, the female office went forward to salute. Kang Yi also returned the greeting, saying: “I wonder if there is a reason for this official’s visit?”
The female officer said: “I do not dare bear the title of official. This servant is just a servant. Eldest princess is being too kind. This servant came today to bring his Highness Prince Yu’s message and Princess Ru Jia’s request to report something to the eldest princess.”
Upon hearing that there was a request, Kang Yi’s mood finally showed a bit of a change, as she asked with a bit of urgency: “What happened to Ru Jia?”
The female officer spoke in a very orderly fashion, telling them about the events that had just transpired in a very succinct manner. After she finished, she emphasized: “Princess Ru Jia’s injuries are truly too severe. The force from the whip affected her heart. This servant will say something unpleasant. If she is not saved quickly, I fear that she will pass in another three to five days!”
Kang Yi’s heart tightened, as even the matriarch and Chen Yu became frantic. Chen Yu asked doubtfully: “Can a whip possibly land so fiercely?”
The female officer nodded, “Perhaps it was because county princess Ji An was too angry at the time that she used some inner strength. Everyone knows that county princess Ji An is proficient in martial arts. Having been whipped, Princess Ru Jia is already quite fortunate to still have her life intact. If this was Prince Yu personally doing the whipping, eldest princess would be able to save on gold.”
Kang Yi had a belly full of anger that was surging forth, but it was forcefully repressed time and time again. She asked the female officer: “Would This one be allowed to see Jia’er?”
The female officer was very happy to comply: “That is naturally permitted. If eldest princess wishes to go into the palace to visit, you can come back together with this servant. County princess and his Highness are both there too. You can even ask his Highness Prince Yu personally. Thinking about it, her Highness the Empress should be returning at this time too. Yesterday, his Majesty became extremely angry upon hearing that someone had insulted his most beloved son. He was so angry that he wanted to drag the culprit out and have them cut up, but it was her Highness speaking up that saved the young princess’ life. If eldest princess will be going into the palace, you must thank her Highness personally.”
Kang Yi was shocked to hear this then quickly shook her head, “No need. This one thought about it. If Ru Jia is able to stay in the palace, that would mean that she is receiving the best treatment. With how his Majesty dotes on her, even giving her two bolts of moon palace silk, what is there for This one to worry about?”
The female officer smiled and replied: “Eldest princess being at ease is correct. The imperial physicians are doing their best for Princess Ru Jia, and they are using the best medicine available.”
Kang Yi knew at heart that there was a problem, but she found it difficult to ask at this moment. Ru Jia was being held in the palace was equivalent to having an advantage over her. She was now like a piece of meat on a chopping block. They could cut off however much they desired.
Kang Yi let out a sigh then turned to the matriarch and said: “Mother, daughter-in-law will be taking a trip to the government office.”
The matriarch nodded but did not say anything.
After Kang Yi left, the matriarch also sent Chen Yu away. Only after everyone left did she sigh and say: “What exactly is the ninth prince wanting to do?”
Granny Zhao was at her side and thought a little, saying: “It seems… he wants to scam her of her money?”
The matriarch was startled, as she said the first thing that popped into her mind: “Does Qian Zhou even have money? They won’t be taking money from Kang Yi’s dowry right? She still owes me money!”
Granny Zhao thought to herself that the paltry bit she was owed compared to five million taels of gold was something not even worth mentioning, so what was she getting nervous about? But she did not dare say such a thing. She only consoled the matriarch, saying: “They won’t. No matter the size of Qian Zhou, it is still a country. Ten million taels of gold sounds like a large amount, but it should not cause them to use madam’s dowry to pay it off.”
“That is indeed logical.” The matriarch pondered, “It will be fine if they don’t use it. Her dowry will all be put to communal use. Huh?” She thought of something: “Didn’t the Cheng shi sisters say that their dowry would be coming? Has it arrived/”
Granny Zhao replied: “Not yet. Elder madam, do not get anxious. Did not hear that second young miss and his Highness the ninth prince are both at the palace. Thinking about it, it should arrive with the return of the second young miss.”
The matriarch nodded, “Un, then let’s wait a little while longer, and it should arrive.”
Kang Yi was not sloppy with her work. Arriving at the governor’s office, she immediately handed over a promissory note to the female officer. When the officer brought this back to the palace, the Empress had already returned from court and was chatting with Feng Yu Heng “Please take care of Jun Man and Jun Mei. Those two girls were born of concubines in Cheng manor, and their mother was just a normal servant that slept with the master. They had no real status. Although the Cheng family is not of the same standing as Prime minister Feng, in any case, it was still considered a prominent family. There was no shortage of schemes put in place in that courtyard. Those sisters suffered a great deal of bullying from a young age. After they entered the palace, for the first two years, they were extremely shy and cowardly, and when the Emperor arrived, they did not even dare look.”
Feng Yu Heng thought back to the Cheng sisters that she had met the previous night. They did not appear to be cowardly. Thinking about it, having spent so many years in the palace, it would be impossible to still be cowardly. With the Emperor and the Empress seemingly taking an interest in training them, the Cheng shi sisters had only entered the manor for half a day, yet the speed at which information arrived was much faster than before.
She smiled at the Empress and said: “Speaking about it, since they are married to father, they are A-Heng’s elders. From this day forward, I will take care of my two concubine mothers more.”
As the two were speaking, the female officer had already come forward and performed a grand salute to the Empress then bowed to Xuan Tian Ming and said: “Your Highness’ orders have been completed. This is the receipt from the government office.”
Xuan Tian Ming received it and looked at it then placed it in Feng Yu Heng’s hands, “Take in. When the gold has been carried into your manor, return this to her.”
The Empress had heard long ago that the two had worked in harmony to scam Qian Zhou, and she could not help but sigh: “Recently, all of the palaces and courtyards have seen cutbacks. If This one can receive some extra money, his Majesty will definitely be very happy.” Saying this, she pondered a little then said to the female officer: “Princess Ru Jia is being treated for her injuries in the palace, and she had used a great number of expensive and rare medicines. Go find out the cost. There is also the matter of learning manners and reasoning that required a special teacher to be called. Go tell eldest princess Kang Yi that those will also be added to the cost.”
The female officer complied then headed to the Feng manor once more. When she returned once more, she held another promissory note in her hand.
The Empress received it with satisfaction. Standing up, she said to Xuan Tian Ming: “You guys can go do your own thing. This one will be going to his Majesty to seek work.”
Watching the Empress leave with a smile, Xuan Tian Ming quietly snorted: “We’ve let her scoop up some money.”
Feng Yu Heng said: “Her Highness’ collaboration was quite good. Allowing her to earn a little is something that should be done. Let’s go, it’s no longer early. We should leave the palace.”
Upon hearing that they would be leaving the palace, the female officer quickly asked: “Will county princess be coming tomorrow to provide treatment for Princess Ru Jia?”
Feng Yu Heng nodded, “Yes, have her cleaned up a little. I don’t want to smell that weird smell in that room anymore.”
The female officer replied: “County princess, please do not worry.”
Only then did the two finally leave the main palace’s gates. Upon leaving, Feng Yu Heng said: “I must return to the manor to give concubine mother Han acupuncture to preserve her fetus. You should not come with me. Go sit for a while in Winter Moon Palace. I came to the imperial palace but did not get a chance to visit imperial concubine mother. Go greet her for me. Just say that I will come and pay respects tomorrow.”
Xuan Tian Ming nodded, “Good, then just take my imperial carriage back. Be careful on the way back.”
The two exited the palace and went their separate ways.
While Feng Yu Heng was walking to the imperial palace’s gates, she saw a group of palace maids carrying a platter passing by. One of them looked very familiar. Squinting her eyes, she could not help but think carefully.