Xiang Rong Rebels
On this day in the Feng manor, everyone woke up early and went over to Peony courtyard to gather without any prior agreement.
Originally, according to Feng Jin Yuan and the matriarch’s intentions, they should have gone to Pu Du Temple to invite a monk to perform a ritual. First, it was to redeem Chen Yu’s soul. Second, it was to dispel the bad luck in the family. But this rain was coming down too heavily, and a part of the road going to Pu Du Temple was ruined. Not a single carriage could pass through.
The monk could not be invited, thus the matriarch decided to invite four religious masters that were popular among the people. No matter whether or not they were skilled, either way, it was just something to be done symbolically.
The main hall of Peony courtyard had already been arranged for the masters. The four masters stood in place and awaited their orders. They were waiting for the time to begin chanting sutras and redeeming the soul.
When the Feng family gathered around, candles had already been lit. The masters said that they were called guiding lights. They were used to guide the dead person to the underworld.
Han shi was a little scared and was advised to return back to Yu Lan courtyard. The matriarch stood at the entrance of the hall and looked out. After looking for a while, she asked Feng Jin Yuan: “In such heavy rain, can they carry out the execution?”
Feng Jin Yuan gritted his teeth and said: “I heard that his Highness the ninth prince will supervise the execution personally.”
Upon hearing this, the matriarch knew that there was no hope. She let out a long sigh and complained to Feng Jin Yuan: “It really is a loss that you were the prime minister before. How could you not even see this situation clearly! The one that the Feng family should have placed its hope in was not Chen Yu. It was A-Heng! If we could have treated A-Heng better, who knows how much glory the Feng family would be enjoying right now.” There was more that the matriarch did not end up saying. Choosing not to favor a treasure that calls the ruling emperor father Emperor and helped train the troops of Da Shun while producing steel, instead, he had to favor a slut like Feng Chen Yu. They truly were blind!
The rain outside fell harder and harder. He Zhong ran in while wearing a coat and urgently reported: “The stage for the execution has already been set. The person sent by the manor to investigate reported that his Highness the ninth prince will be overseeing the execution personally. Eldest young miss has already been taken in the direction of the stage from the prison.”
Feng Jin Yuan was shaken and nearly teared up. After all, he had raised her for over ten years, and he had doted on this daughter for many years. To say that he was not pained would be a lie. But the matriarch told him: “Put away all of the pity that you feel for that slut! From this day forward, remove Feng Chen Yu from the Feng family’s genealogical record. The Feng family does not have this sort of daughter!”
Feng Jin Yuan gritted his teeth and had to remind the matriarch of a truth. “It was Feng Yu Heng that did something to Chen Yu.”
These words happened to be heard by Xiang Rong, who had come over. She stopped and looked at her father with a very puzzled expression, asking: “If eldest sister did not do such a dirty thing with eldest brother, second sister would not have a chance to do anything, even if she wanted to. Father, what sort of benefits did eldest sister promise you that could have you still treat her this well after being demoted and having the manor taken away? Could it be that she is the only daughter in your life? Then what does second sister count as? What do Fen Dai and I count as?”
Xiang Rong had been inexplicably angry the past few days. For the matriarch and Feng Jin Yuan to hear this, she now dared to ask this out loud! Feng Jin Yuan angrily swung his hand, slapping Xiang Rong across the face and dropping her to the ground.
An shi was given a fright and quickly went over to support her. Her anger surged forth, “For the sake of a fallen Feng Chen Yu with questionable morals, does husband plan to beat all of the children in the manor to death?”
“Shut your mouth!” Feng Jin Yuan loudly shouted: “You’re just a concubine. Where is there any right for you to speak here! If you continue to spout nonsense, don’t blame me for kicking you out!”
“If you’re going to kick us out, just do it!” Xiang Rong stood up from the ground and raised her small chin toward her father: “Rather than being angered for a lifetime in this manor, I would rather that you let me and my mother go free.” She frankly did not even call her concubine mother, directly calling her mother.
Feng Jin Yuan was so angry that his entire body trembled. He really wanted to kick An shi out, but he also knew that if he did this, it would validate the claim that he only ever did things for Chen Yu. There was no point, no matter how much he felt pained, as that person was about to die.
The matriarch coldly snorted then glared at Xiang Rong and An shi but did not say anything. Instead, she turned to Feng Jin Yuan and said: “Think carefully about your future and this family’s future!”
Feng Jin Yuan loudly shouted: “I am thinking about it every day!” He then grabbed He Zhong and shouted: “Go call that slut Feng Yu Heng over here. Have her come and send off her eldest sister!”
Although the Cheng shi sisters were standing a bit further away, they still heard his words. The two sisters looked at each other before Cheng Jun Man said: “Husband, county princess is your daughter, and she is also the ninth prince’s official princess. With you calling her a slut, who are you talking about?” Her words were ice-cold, and it came with a boom of thunder outside. This immediately caused Feng Jin Yuan to wake up.
He dared to curse at Xiang Rong, at An shi, and he even dared to get angry with Kang Yi; however, he did not dare be the slightest bit impolite to the Cheng shi sisters. The matriarch was the same. When she heard Cheng Jun Man speak, she quickly helped speak up for Feng Jin Yuan: “He has been angered and became muddled.”
Cheng Jun Mei also spoke up. She had always been more direct than her elder sister, thus her words were less polite: “Before coming to the Feng manor, aunty said that our support would not be husband. It would be county princess. That’s why, even if husband has these sorts of thoughts about county princess, it would be best to keep them inside. If they are spoken, and we hear them, who knows when we will let it slip, and it will become known in the palace.”
Cheng Jun Man tugged at her, saying: “Don’t say that. Right now, we are living under the same roof. Staying alive is most important.” These words were even more ferocious. The meaning was if Feng Jin Yuan decided to try and kill them, what should they do?
Hearing this, the matriarch quickly waved her hand: “No way, no way. You are Jin Yuan’s official wives. From this day forward, you will be the safety and honor of the Feng family. We are still relying on you.” While saying this, she gave a look to Feng Jin Yuan. Unfortunately, Feng Jin Yuan was truly not in the mood to deal with this.
At this time, He Zhong finally managed to escape from Feng Jin Yuan’s grasp and cleared his throat before saying: “Even if this servant went to invite her, that would not be possible. I heard that second young miss left the manor early in the morning for the stage of execution in order to watch.”
“What?” Feng Jin Yuan bit down so hard that he nearly shattered all of his teeth, “That little sl… that girl’s heart, what exactly is it made of? Her eldest sister is about to be executed, yet she is actually going to watch?”
“Why not?” Xiang Rong faintly spoke up: “At the time that eldest sister tried to kill her time and time again, why did father not ask what her heart was made of? Also, father, what is your heart made of?” Ever since this girl had been engaged to Bu Cong, for some reason, she had developed a personality that deliberately made things worse. She no longer feared the people of the Feng family. She would say whatever she wanted to say, and she no longer cared if she was hit or punished. Just like this moment, she broke free from An shi and quickly walked out. As she stepped into the rain, she said: “I will also go and take a look!” She then quickened her pace and disappeared after a short while.
An shi was scared silly. She was about to give chase, but she was grabbed by Feng Jin Yuan. He did not dare curse at Feng Yu Heng, but Xiang Rong did not have much of a backing. In an instant, all of his hatred for his second daughter was transferred to his third daughter, and he viciously said to An shi: “You cannot give chase! It would be best if she died out there!” He then turned around and said to his servants: “Tie her up! She is not allowed to go anywhere!”
No matter how An shi cried or screamed, she could not break free from the restraints of the strong grannies. She even had her mouth stuffed with a cloth, making her unable to make a sound.
The matriarch’s heart was also a mess, asking He Zhong: “Is it more or less time?”
He Zhong said: “There is still one more hour.”
The matriarch did not want to wait any longer and hurried the masters, saying: “Let’s start now!”
The masters were doing this for money. If their boss said to start, they would start, thus countless candles were lit. The funeral banner was lifted, and they began shaking the rattles in their hands. The four began chanting sutras while circling the hall.
Nobody else in the Feng family spoke, standing silently to the side. Everyone was quietly hoping in their hearts that Feng Chen Yu’s death would be the end of the Feng family’s troubles.
When Xiang Rong exited the manor, she did not know who had given her an umbrella, but she held the umbrella and rushed in the direction of the execution stage. Before she could even get out of the road, the umbrella had been torn to shreds by the wind. Xiang Rong simply tossed it and increased her pace.
Why else would it be said that there were certain things that required special circumstances to be accomplished? Given Xiang Rong’s weak and timid personality, if it was not for a bit of Feng Yu Heng’s teaching, if it was not for the Feng family forcing her time and time again, if it was not for the instigation of the Bu family’s engagement, if there was no torrential downpour, perhaps she could never do something like rushing through a heavy rain. Moreover, she had left home after arguing with Feng Jin Yuan.
Xiang Rong did not know where she found the strength. Falling time and time again, she would just keep standing up and desperately continue running forward. As she ran, a carriage suddenly passed beside her. She did not have time to dodge and was pulled sideways by the carriage. It looked like she was about to fall into the path of the carriage’s wheels.
She was completely frightened. She did her best to straighten out her body; however, it was in vain. Her scattered hair had been caught by the wheel, and the pain caused her to tear up. Dropping to the ground, her neck was extended. Xiang Rong closed her eyes and could practically feel the wheel press against her neck.
However, at this time, the carriage suddenly came to a stop. The neighing of the horses could be heard, and it looked as though the carriage had come to a complete stop. Immediately following this, a person squatted at her side and reached out to unfasten her hair from the wheel. They then went to hold her shoulder and face.
Xiang Rong let out a sigh of relief. She had been saved.
She wanted to open her eyes to see who had saved her, but she was currently facing up. The rain was falling too heavily, and there was no way for her to open her eyes; however, her hands were still moving around in horror. After moving them around for a bit, they were grabbed by that person, and she was picked up.
At this time, a girl’s voice was heard, “Quickly, it’s almost time!”
The person that had saved her carried her into the carriage, and the heavy rain had suddenly been blocked by the carriage. Xiang Rong heard a voice near her ear. It was a man’s voice, saying: “It’s raining so heavily. Why are you running outside on your own?”
She had not yet opened her eyes; however, upon hearing these words, the corners of her lips subconsciously curled up.