The Marriages of the Two Daughters
Feng Yu Heng shaking her head caused Xiang Rong’s heart to sink, as a feeling of absolute despair filled her mind. When she looked back at Feng Jin Yuan, her eyes only revealed two words: total resignation.
Immediately following this, Feng Jin Yuan spoke up once more, saying something that nobody could have expected: “A few days ago, the Bu family came to discuss a marriage on the behalf of the General of the East, Bu Cong. The one that they were interested in was Xiang Rong. Father and your grandmother have discussed this and have already agreed to this.
Xiang Rong subconsciously took a couple steps back and was caught in An shi’s embrace. Feng Yu Heng furrowed her brow tightly. She absolutely never thought that the person would be Bu Cong.
Bu Cong… She began to think about it. The Bu family had always been in support of the fourth prince, Xuan Tian Yi. With Xiang Rong becoming engaged to Bu Cong, it was clear that the Feng family was looking for another path for themselves. Since this was the case, why not directly send her into the Ping Palace?
While Feng Yu Heng was thinking this, Chen Yu was also wondering. She knew that the family could not place all of its hope in her alone. Sooner or later, these two younger sisters would need to be sent to a prince’s side. But she never thought that Feng family would have a different train of thought, sending her to the Bu family and the fourth prince.
She calmed herself down and took the initiative to say: “Congratulations, third sister.”
With her speaking, Han shi and Jin Zhen also followed up, saying: “Congratulations, third young miss.”
Cheng Jun man looked at Xiang Rong and sighed to herself; however, she still followed along with what everyone else had said: “Third young miss, with your marriage set, we will need to exchange engagement notes. After that, there will be the official proposal, asking of names, checking of compatibility…” She paused for a moment then asked Feng Jin Yuan: “Husband, did the Bu family say whether the third young miss would be getting married as the official wife or the secondary wife?” She did not say concubine. After all, as the daughter of the prime minister, even if she was not to be the official wife, it was impossible that she would be a lowly concubine.
Feng Jin Yuan looked at Xiang Rong face that was filled with despair, and his heart became filled with unhappiness. He immediately snorted in anger and said: “Don’t believe that the family has not thought about you quite a bit. In the past, the daughter of a concubine has always been the secondary wife, and that Bu Cong is also the main general. Normally speaking, if you were to get married, it would already be quite good if you could be the secondary wife, but father still fought to provide you with the position of official wife. Xiang Rong, think about it carefully. Has the Feng family treated you well or poorly?”
Xiang Rong was unable to hear these words, but An shi took them to heart. She naturally understood how important the position as the official wife of the general of the East was. For Xiang Rong to have this good fortune, put plainly, it was the Feng family that had treated her kindly.
She immediately expressed her thoughts, pulling Xiang Rong and kneeling down with her. She then kowtowed to Feng Jin Yuan and the matriarch, saying: “Thank you elder madam for supporting this, and thank you husband for this plan.”
But Xiang Rong did not say a single word. She had been tugged by An shi and mechanically kowtowed with a deathly still expression on her face. This caused Feng Jin Yuan and the matriarch to feel resentful.
It was not just those two that were resentful. Chen Yu and Fen Dai were also the same. Chen Yu had never thought that Xiang Rong could become Bu Cong’s official wife. What did this mean? Although she would be marrying a prince, in the end, she was still a secondary princess. Both of them were daughters of concubines, but Xiang Rong would be able to become the official wife of a general. As the elder sister, what face would she have left?
Fen Dai was also angry. In fact, she even glared at Han shi, fiercely saying: “What are you congratulating her for?”
Only then did Han shi remember that matter with the fifth prince and immediately felt regretful for Fen Dai.
At this coming of age ceremony, the marriages of two daughters had been set. Especially Chen Yu, whose wedding would take place after five days. After they had dispersed, the matriarch quickly had people go buy a wedding dress.
Xiang Rong was dragged back by An shi. Only after they walked out of sight of the Feng family did she begin to bitterly try and console her: “I know that you are unwilling, and I know you have another person in mind, but Xiang Rong, although you call me concubine mother, I am still your birth mother. Even if everyone in the world tried to harm you, I would not. The elder madam is right. The marriage of a daughter is an order from the parents and something decided upon by the matchmaker. I am a concubine of the Feng family, and I cannot say anything about your marriage. At first, I thought that you would be like the eldest young miss and be sent to a prince’s manor to become a secondary princess or concubine. But I never thought that the Feng family would allow you to become the official wife of a general. Xiang Rong, don’t cause any more trouble. This is a grace for you.”
An shi spoke earnestly with every word being filled with reason, but Xiang Rong was unable to hear it. She did not believe that this was a grace. For her, getting married to Bu Cong was the equivalent of coming to terms with the Feng family. She would be trading her own life in this trade. This trade, regardless of whether it succeeded or failed, it would last for the rest of her life, and she would not have any hope left. She would never be able to have unrealistic dreams, and she would no longer be able to dream about that person every day, and she would never have any opportunities to go and speak with her second sister. She would need to plan out her own life.
Her heart shifted, and she suddenly reacted. She should not be so unwilling. It was exactly as An shi had said. This was already the best possible outcome. At least, it now seemed that she would have it much better than Chen Yu, who was marrying into a prince’s palace as a secondary princess. She was already someone with a quiet personality. She was already set to have this sort of life from the moment that she was born. She knew from a young age, and she had accepted it long ago; however, why had she suddenly changed?
Xiang Rong suddenly stopped and tilted her head, thinking carefully. After a while, she finally realized that she had some thoughts that were different from before, and they were taught to her by her second sister.
Feng Yu Heng had once said to her that a person’s life was just a short few decades long. Even if she lived a long life, could she live to be 100? That was why, in this life, she should not pay too much attention to what other people thought of her. She should just do what she wanted to do. If anyone forced her to do anything, if she did not like it, she could just directly refuse. In her life, she would be the one to make her own decisions. Even if the other side was her father and mother, they had no right to interfere!
“Right!” She suddenly shouted, scaring An shi. She then saw the death-like appearance disappear from Xiang Rong’s face, immediately replaced with a glow. Grabbing An shi’s arm, she said: “Concubine mother, go back first. I still have a matter to go discuss with second sister.” After saying this, she turned and ran off.
At first, An shi was stunned. Immediately following this, she stomped her feet and repeatedly sighed. She knew that Xiang Rong was going to seek help, but she thought to herself that Feng Yu Heng might not be able to provide any help with this matter. Even if she could, what would happen in the future? Xiang Rong was interested in his Highness the seventh prince. That person that did not even look like he belonged in the realm of mortals, was there any hope? If his Highness the seventh prince was no good, who else could it be in the future? Was there any better choice than Bu Cong?
She watched Xiang Rong’s servant chase behind her and helplessly called out: “Alright, don’t keep chasing! Just let her go. Either way, it would be best for her to completely give up.”
Xiang Rong ran straight for the manor’s entrance. Although it was said that the manor’s young misses could not go out when they pleased, needing to get permission from the matriarch first before being permitted to go out. However, Xiang Rong saying that she was just going to the neighboring county princess’ manor was permitted to go out.
Thus she chased after Feng Yu Heng and arrived at the county princess’ manor’s entrance. When the imperial guards saw that it was her, they immediately let her through.
When she finally caught up, Feng Yu Heng was already seated in her own courtyard. Xiang Rong was gasping for air in exhaustion. She was only focused on trying to breathe and could not get any words out.
Feng Yu Heng laughed at her: “I told you long ago that you need to exercise. When I wasn’t at home, you fell out of practice, right?”
Xiang Rong panted for a long time. When she was finally able to speak once more, she grabbed Feng Yu Heng’s arm and begged: “Second sister, I beg you to help me. Xiang Rong does not want to marry Bu Cong.”
Of course, Feng Yu Heng understood what this girl meant by coming here. Pulling her to sit on a stone chair, she said: “The marriage was arranged by father. Normally speaking, I don’t have any right to object. Moreover, no matter what angle we look at this from, being Bu Cong’s official wife is quite a high status.”
“I don’t want a high status!” Xiang Rong was a little emotional, and her voice became raised, “Whether he is a general or not, whether or not I am the official wife, I don’t care about those things! The people I don’t like, even if it’s the Emperor, I will not get married to!”
Once this was said, Xiang Rong was immediately stunned. She was then a little stunned and began to feel afraid.
This was a word of rebellion. If this was heard by someone, did she have any chance of living? She carefully looked around. There was no shortage of servants in this courtyard walking around doing their work. Even Wang Chuan and Huang Quan were standing behind Feng Yu Heng. Those loud words had definitely been heard by everyone in the yard, but…
Xiang Rong was puzzled. If this was said in her own courtyard, An shi might have closed the windows and doors in fear. She then would have told all the servants that not a single word must be said about this matter. Like this, she would be on edge for many days. But why was it that it seemed like nothing had happened after this was said. Why was there not a single reaction?
While she was feeling puzzled, Huang Quan was unable to hold back and laughed, saying: “Third young miss, no need to feel afraid. Over here, you can say whatever you want to say. There is nobody that will care, and there is nobody that will spread what was said.”
Feng Yu Heng nodded: “Moreover, what you said is right. As long as you don’t like it, even someone like the king of heaven should not be married.”
“Second sister has promised to help me?” Xiang Rong immediately became spirited, “Can second sister help me get out of this marriage?”
Feng Yu Heng did not reply. Instead, she asked her: “Sooner or later, you will need to get married. It will be a different family tomorrow. Xiang Rong, if you don’t marry anyone, who will you get married to? Seventh brother?”
She directly brought out the words seventh brother, and they slammed straight into Xiang Rong’s heart. It hurt once more, and she was unwilling to let go.
Feng Yu Heng knew this girl’s thoughts and she had to remind this girl: “You need to think carefully. That might be a path that never ends. No matter how hard you try, you might not reach the end.”
“I know.” Xiang Rong lowered her head, fiddling with her fingers and saying: “I did not think about that much. Concubine mother said that I should not have such extravagant hopes. To be able to become General Bu’s official wife is already a grace from the Feng family, but, second sister, Xiang Rong is unwilling. Help me, I am begging you.”
“Do you want me to help you cancel this engagement or help you get married into the Chun Palace?” She looked at Xiang Rong with a grim and serious expression.
Xiang Rong said: “Cancel the engagement.”
Feng Yu Heng shook her head, “In truth, I can’t help you with either. Xiang Rong, you can cancel it today, but there will always be a tomorrow. I cannot possibly help you cancel all of your engagements. That’s why this matter will rely on your own efforts. If you want to change your own life, you cannot rely on others. You must become strong on your own. Think about what second sister taught you in the past. If you are really unwilling, go fight for it on your own. You are only eleven-years-old. Even if this engagement is set, what of it? Four years, four years is a lot of time for many things to happen.”
She did not know if Xiang Rong would be able to understand her if she said it like this. She just watched the girl, with her hair still tied up like meatballs, leave with some thoughts on her mind. In her mind, she still felt that it was a bit unbearable.
She told Wang Chuan: “Go investigate Yu Qian Yin.”
Wang Chuan did not have any objections. Nodding, she was about to leave, but just as she turned around to leave, she was called back by Feng Yu Heng, “Wait a moment… forget it.”