Hugged the Wrong Leg
When Feng Jin Yuan left the county princess’ manor, he was entirely distracted. He no longer had the aura and bearing of a prime minister.
Feng Yu Heng wanted him to go borrow money. Only by gathering one million taels of silver could he regain the deed, but at this time, where should he go to borrow money?
At this time, the sky was already dark; however, Feng Jin Yuan did not return to the manor. Instead, he had the mentality of hoping to get lucky by going to the homes of the officials that he usually got along with. He only had one goal: to borrow money.
Unfortunately, a featherless phoenix was inferior to a chicken. After knocking on the doors of five homes, three of them did not even open its doors. One of them frankly said: “Our master said that he would meet with anyone, but he could not meet with lord Feng, Feng Jin Yuan.”
It was the last one that invited him into the hall. That home’s lord had heard that he came to borrow money. With a troubled expression, he said: “Recently, I have also had struggles, but I cannot allow lord Feng to return empty-handed.” He then had a servant brought out a small bag of silver, placing it in Feng Jin Yuan’s hand. Very magnanimously, he said: “No need to mention borrowing. This will be given to lord Feng. There’s no need to return it.” After saying this, he quickly had his servant escort the guest out.
Feng Jin Yuan left through the front gate and opened up the bag to take a look. Inside was a handful of shattered silver. Weighing it, there were 20 taels at most. Angered, he threw it back at the gate. With the clanking sounds, a person inside shouted: “Take it if you want it. If you don’t, just scram! You beg for food yet complain that it stinks!”
Feng Jin Yuan’s old face had truly been lost completely. He wanted to just leave, but he felt unreconciled. When he was in the county princess’ manor, thunder had boomed, but rain did not fall. This time, it looked as though it was about to come down. It caused him to feel a little suffocated.
He looked at the tightly closed gate and gritted his teeth then loudly said: “Don’t look down on others! Don’t forget that our Feng family still has county princess Ji An!” After saying this, he snorted and quickly left.
Feng Jin Yuan never thought that there would come a day when he would need to rely on Feng Yu Heng to save face. He suddenly found that the Feng family had been searching for a pillar of support for many years by raising daughters. It seemed that they had taken a wrong turn at some point. It was as the matriarch had said in the afternoon. Feng Chen Yu was not the hope of the Feng family. Feng Yu Heng was. Then all of these years… they had clearly been hugging the wrong leg…
Another boom of thunder roared. This time, the rain finally fell, and it was a torrential rain. There was no gradual change from light to heavy rain. It was suddenly as though the entire sky opened up, and rain had been directly poured down. In torrents, it fell on Feng Jin Yuan’s head and body.
He was practically unable to stand steadily from the rain. The rain bounced off the ground and a mist covered the road, making the road impossible to see clearly. He could only rely on his memory to run back to the Feng manor. Who knew how many times he fell. When he finally returned to the manor, the gatekeeper nearly did not recognize him.
The heavy rain and thunderstorm continued to wreak havoc throughout the night. It did not even seem to stop at dawn the next day.
Feng Yu Heng did not sleep much that night. She woke up very early and stood by the window. This sort of thunder scared her a little. It caused her to remember that she had also been awoken by lightning when she first came to Da Shun. The thunder sounded just as it did right now. With each one getting louder, it managed to bring a dead person to Da Shun and over to Xuan Tian Ming.
Wang Chuan pushed open the door against the wind. The wind blew the rain into the room, causing her to become startled and quickly turn to close the doors.
“Young miss.” Wang Chuan had used a smock to cover up a food box, “Ban Zou said that young miss woke up and stood next to the window before the sun came up. This servant went and prepared a light congee. Young miss, eat a bit to warm up a little.”
Feng Yu Heng, in truth, was not hungry, but she was indeed feeling a little cold. She asked Wang Chuan: “Will the days become colder after this rain has stopped?”
Wang Chuan shook her head, “In the capital of Da Shun, the days do not get cooler until the eighth month. I fear that it will be hot for another few days.”
“As I see it, this rain will not stop very quickly. In the worst-case scenario, it will continue for a few more days.” Feng Yu Heng took a sip then asked: “Say, if it continues to rain like this tomorrow, will the execution be delayed? Has this sort of thing happened in the past?”
Wang Chuan nodded, “There has. When the weather was too poor in the past, the execution would be delayed. But young miss should be at ease. His Highness said that not to mention rain, even if it was raining swords, Feng Chen Yu would not live for a second longer.”
Feng Yu Heng finished drinking the congee, and it seemed like the rain outside was letting up slightly. She informed Wang Chuan: “Go prepare the carriage and call his Highness the ninth prince. We shall go into the palace’s mountain prison to see those people from Qian Zhou.”
Wang Chuan looked at the weather outside and felt a little troubled; however, she also knew that the matter involving Qian Zhou could not be delayed any further, thus she nodded and left while holding the platter.
The group rushed out of the manor early, even earlier than the officials going to court. When Xuan Tian Ming was dragged from his blankets by Feng Yu Heng, he felt like crying. At first, he wanted to act spoiled and drag the damn girl into bed to continue sleeping, but Feng Yu Heng said: “Let’s go see the people inside the mountain prison. After that, we need to think about some countermeasures. I fear that Qian Zhou’s side cannot be delayed much longer.”
With official matters to tend to, Xuan Tian Ming could no longer continue to sleep. He could only get out of bed and quickly wash up before leaving the palace.
The two sat in Xuan Tian Ming’s imperial carriage. Enduring the strong winds and torrential rain, they rushed over to the imperial palace.
Feng Yu Heng sat in the carriage. Unavoidably, she asked with some shock: “Say, will this imperial carriage leak?”
Xuan Tian Ming looked at her as though he was looking at an idiot: “If this prince’s imperial carriage could leak, I fear that your county princess’ manor would also be leaking.”
Very well, she believed him. At the very least, it did not leak the entire way there.
However, the imperial carriage not having any leaks did not mean that other places did not leak, like the mountain prison inside the imperial palace, for example. When Feng Yu Heng went in, she was dazed. There were puddles of water everywhere, and there was practically no place for her to walk. The guards keeping watch were hiding inside some sheds to the side, but, without any need to see, the dripping sounds that came from inside the prison made it clear that the environment inside was dreadful.
Feng Yu Heng was carried in by Xuan Tian Ming, and she repeatedly stressed: “It’s not that I am being stubborn, nor am I afraid of getting dirty, but the shoes and dress that I wore today are truly not very suitable today.”
Xuan Tian Ming glanced at her sideways: “Stop pretending.”
“I am not pretending. I am telling the truth.” A certain person was being stubborn, but when she looked down and saw Xuan Tian Ming’s shoes, she shut her mouth. A prince was wearing his best shoes and was carrying her on his back. He was stepping into this dirty water, yet he did not say anything. What was she still pretending for?
Fortunately, they very quickly arrived where the people from Qian Zhou had been locked up. Xuan Tian Ming placed her in a shed that had been built to the side. He then pointed to the people inside and asked the guard: “Why have they all become like this?”
Feng Yu Heng also took a look inside. The cell directly across from her held Feng Kun. Although that person was a dwarf, since he had martial abilities, he seemed to maintain his spirit. But now, his entire body lay in a puddle of water, and his clothes were tattered to the point of barely covering anything. The skin that had been exposed seemed to have grown something, and some places had begun to rot, while others had changed colors.
She frowned and turned to look inside the other cells. There was no need to speak about the men, as they were not too different from Feng Kun. She took another step forward to look at Kang Yi. There, she saw Kang Yi lean against the mountain. She looked completely empty like a wooden board. Her clothes had lost their original color, and her shoes were completely soaked. The entire cell was a little bit lower, so the entire floor was covered in water, yet she just sat there, seemingly accustomed to it. She did not react in the slightest.
A sour and stinky smell came from the cell. There was no need to think to understand. With the person already like this, all parts of the daily routine were definitely done inside. Who knew what was in the puddled water underneath her. She could not think too deeply about this. The more she thought about it, the more disgusted she felt.
The guard kindly reminded her: “County princess, don’t walk too close. It’s extremely dirty. His Majesty gave the order. Decapitation would be too kind to them. To dare to carry out an assassination within the imperial palace, they should suffer a bit more.”
Feng Yu Heng nodded and did not say much. The Emperor was correct. Attempting an assassination was a severe crime. Even sentencing them to die by ten thousand cuts was understandable.
She turned her had to speak with Xuan Tian Ming: “The letter has already been sent to Qian Zhou, but the distance is too great. Right now, it definitely has not yet arrived. This matter cannot be delayed for much longer. We must think of a careful plan.”
Xuan Tian Ming said: “Right now is not the best time to take action against Qian Zhou. Although Qian Zhou’s military might is small, since it is covered in ice and snow throughout the entire year, their soldiers are all accustomed to it. But the people of Da Shun are not. This expedition will inevitably need to sweep across that small country in one go. We must make thorough preparations. At the very least, we must complete the production of steel weapons. This is the best method for reducing the duration of the war.”
Feng Yu Heng agreed with his statement and began to calculate things on her own then said: “The production of steel weapons will require at least another half a year, if not more. We definitely must think of a way to delay for half a year. News about these people absolutely must not spread to Qian Zhou. But if they remain in Da Shun without returning, Qian Zhou’s ruler would definitely take exception to this…”
The two were a little troubled. Xuan Tian Ming tugged at her: “Let’s go. There’s not much to see here. This group of people will not live for more than five more days. Let’s go think things through more carefully.”
He carried his wife back out on his back. When the gate of the mountain prison was closed, the soldiers inside said: “Everyone says that his Highness the ninth prince is afraid of his wife. It seems that this is true!”
The heavy rain continued to fall. Even after Xuan Tian Ming left the county princess’ manor after freeloading for a meal, the rain still had not stopped.
Feng Yu Heng sat on the side of her bed. She did not speak. She just continued to look outside. Fortunately, the wind did not blow this way in addition to a long hallway blocking the way, even if the windows were opened, the rain would not blow inside. Like this, she sat there from the afternoon until evening. She even ate dinner at the window.
Huang Quan was unable to endure and asked her: “Young miss, why have you been sitting there, watching the rain?”
Feng Yu Heng pointed out the window at the sky, “Look, this rain has continued all the way from last night, and it does not seem to be letting up. It even hailed twice, but the sky still does not show any signs of clearing up.”
Huang Quan and Wang Chuan looked outside. But of course, it had rained for so long. Normally speaking, after raining for this long, there should be no rain left; however, the sky was as Feng Yu Heng had described. It was still gloomy, and there was no sign of it clearing up.
Wang Chuan was a little worried, “How long will it continue raining like this? I heard that many places out of the province have been met with disaster. I just hope that nothing will happen at the military camp.”
This night was passed by listening to the sounds of the storm. The next day, when people woke up, the rain still had not stopped. On this day, Feng Chen Yu was to be executed by being cut at the waist!