The Matriarch’s Final Will
Seeing that Feng Jin Yuan was about to vomit blood, Feng Yu Heng pulled out a needle and quickly pricked it into his shoulder. The fishy and sweet taste that had already made its way up his throat was immediately swallowed back down, causing Feng Jin Yuan to cough for a long time.
The palace maid and eunuch both looked down at him with disdain. They then bid Feng Yu Heng farewell and left.
The gatekeeper that was left kneeling grabbed Feng Jin Yuan’s leg and said while crying: “Master, second young miss brought you back from prison for you to take part in the funeral! The elder madam, she… passed away.”
“What?” Feng Jin Yuan had just swallowed a mouthful of blood, and he had not recovered from the darkness that had filled his vision. The words about the elder madam passing away nearly caused him to vomit blood from the shock. Fortunately, Feng Jin Yuan had returned to reality. Grabbing the gatekeeper, he asked: “What exactly is going on?”
As for Feng Yu Heng, however, she had already begun walking toward the manor. While walking, she asked the gatekeeper: “Did the imperial physician and coroner come by?”
The gatekeeper considered the influence that Feng Jin Yuan and Feng Yu Heng had in the family then decided to answer Feng Yu Heng first, as he loudly said: “They have. The important matters have been explained to the two madams.”
Feng Yu Heng nodded and brought her two servants into the manor. The gatekeeper then turned around and explained what had happened during the day to Feng Jin Yuan.
When he told the story, he especially emphasized that it was the matriarch that had caused trouble. She had paid a bunch of troublemakers to trouble the second young miss. When the second young miss returned to the capital, who knows what exactly happened, but the elder madam was beaten by those troublemakers. After she returned to the manor, she passed away.
Although he made it clear, Feng Jin Yuan was completely unable to understand what was being said. For him, the matriarch had died because of Feng Yu Heng harming her. It was Feng Yu Heng that had instigated those troublemakers. For the crime of killing someone, Feng Yu Heng had to pay with her own life!
His anger surged forth, as he pushed the gatekeeper away and practically charged after Feng Yu Heng. He had an atmosphere that made it seem like he wanted to tear Feng Yu Heng apart to seek revenge for the matriarch.
Unfortunately, Feng Jin Yuan was someone that had overestimated his own abilities. He was a government official. To take action against a girl that knew martial arts, was he not trying to get killed.
Feng Yu Heng did not even look back, and even her two servants did not bother looking at the situation behind them, but in the instant that Feng Jin Yuan reached out for her neck, there was a sudden turn. Like a ghost, she wrapped around behind Feng Jin Yuan in the blink of an eye.
Thus, there was a change in who was being grabbed, as it had become Feng Yu Heng grabbing Feng Jin Yuan.
She was short and could only reach by standing on her toes; however, she stood very steadily. She did not sway in the slightest.
At this moment, Feng Jin Yuan’s anger had not faded; however, a horror had welled up inside him. Feng Yu Heng’s ice-cold fingers were pressed against the back of his head. He had no doubt that if this girl desired, she could snap his neck instantly.
He stood in place and did not move, as a cold sweat dripped from his forehead. The Feng manor, as a whole, had a very dreary look. There were funeral banners everywhere, and all of the servants wore plain clothes and had white filial belts at their waists. In the middle of the night, it looked very disturbing.
But Feng Yu Heng’s words were even more disturbing, as she said: “I originally did not want to do this to you, but if you truly miss grandmother, I will send you down there to accompany her.”
Feng Jin Yuan did not dare say a single word. Trembling, he stood in the middle of the yard. In his mind, it alternated between images of the matriarch’s face and Feng Yu Heng’s face. Both of them caused his heart to tremble.
At this time, the Cheng shi sisters came from the direction of Peony courtyard. Upon seeing this scene, the sisters looked at each other and helplessly shook their heads.
Cheng Jun Man increased her pace and arrived in front of Feng Jin Yuan. Ignoring that he was being held by the neck, she said: “Husband, mother was beaten by some troublemakers. Fortunately, second young miss was there to stop them. She also had those troublemakers sent to prison. This wife has already gone to the government office to file a report, but…” She paused for a moment then said: “Those troublemakers only committed the crime of beating the family of an official. Mother’s illness… was caused by someone giving her poison.”
Feng Jin Yuan’s eyes became wide. He did not dare speak, fearing that Feng Yu Heng would snap his neck over the slightest movement, but some doubt began to radiate from his eyes.
Cheng Jun Mei said: “Housekeeper He Zhong brought second young miss’ identification to the palace to invite an imperial physician and coroner to investigate. It was the last bit of medicine that mother took that was poisoned. The cause of death was poisoning.” She looked at Feng Jin Yuan and said: “Husband, you must think about second young miss’ kindness; otherwise, mother would really have died with grievances.”
Feng Jin Yuan did not have a single thought left in his mind. The grief of the matriarch’s death had finally hit him, as tears continuously fell to the ground.
Feng Yu Heng did not say anything further and let go. In practically the same instant that she let go, Feng Jin Yuan rushed toward Peony courtyard.
The Cheng shi sisters, however, did not go. Cheng Jun Man looked all around and saw that there was nobody else present. Only then did she take a step forward and lower her voice, saying: “The imperial physician said that the poison was very potent. It does not seem to be a poison from the central region.”
Feng Yu Heng had heard these words twice. It seemed that it was indeed a foreign poison, but… “Has the manor had any interactions with foreigners recently?” Over the past few days, the heavy rains had led to a disaster. If someone with ulterior motives had snuck into the capital using this opportunity, it was not impossible.
Cheng Jin Man gently sighed, “I checked and did not notice anything out of the ordinary, but for that person to choose this critical moment to poison her, it’s most likely directed at county princess. County princess absolutely must be careful.”
She nodded, “I know. The Feng family’s funeral will be left for you to handle. I will be going into the palace tomorrow. If things do not go well, I will not be back until late. Also…” She was a little hesitant. Thinking a little, she frankly asked the two sisters: “You two have a good understanding of things. Help me think a little. Should Zi Rui be brought back to take part in the funeral?”
The Cheng shi sisters did not have a deep understanding of Zi Rui; however, they understood that he was the Feng family’s only young master, and he was also Feng Yu Heng’s younger brother. They naturally would not treat him poorly. As for the matter of bringing him back to the manor to participate in the funeral, Cheng Jun Man had an opinion: “Normally speaking, with the elder madam passing away, as the son of the first wife, young master should come back. But with the floods this year, a large chunk of the road from the capital to Xiao Zhou has been ruined. Even if a letter is sent out now or someone was sent to retrieve him, he definitely would not make it back in time.”
Cheng Jun Mei said: “This is the logic behind it, but I don’t know if anyone will use this to say things.”
Feng Yu Heng waved her hand: “It’s whatever. People can say whatever they want. I do not believe that the citizens saved by this county princess would believe those words and become unfamiliar with me. Zi Rui will not come back. I will leave the rest to you two.” Saying this, turned to Wang Chuan and said: “Go back to the manor and prepare 500 thousand taels in banknotes. The Feng manor’s communal funds are lacking. In any case, it is a little worrying.”
The Cheng shi sisters did not act too courteous with her. They were just about to have Feng Yu Heng go back and rest; however, a servant came running from the direction of Peony courtyard. She anxiously said: “Madam, second young miss, quickly go over and take a look. Concubine mother Han and fourth young miss have begun causing a fuss in the mourning hall.”
Feng Yu Heng furrowed her brow slightly. While walking toward the mourning hall, she asked the servant: “There were no major issues with the fourth young miss’ injuries?”
The servant said: “Her face is still swollen and her eyes have become swollen shut, but she can walk. She had to stand vigil for the elder madam. As a result, when she saw master return, she began to cry.”
While speaking, the group had walked over to Peony courtyard. Just as they passed through the winding corridor, they heard Fen Dai begin wailing. “Father! That is grandmother’s final will. If you do not respect it, grandmother will not be able to rest in the underworld!”
Han shi’s cries were also heard. While crying, she said: “Right before the elder madam passed away, she was most worried about the child in this concubine’s belly. She said that she was unable to see her eldest grandson before passing away. She said that husband absolutely must not treat us three poorly.”
“Impudence!” A sudden and sharp voice came from Cheng Jun Man. They saw her increase her pace, as she arrived at Han shi’s side. She fiercely said: “The gender of the child in your belly is still unknown. How can you say so clearly that it is a grandson? Also, even if it is a grandson, it definitely would not be the eldest grandson. Han shi, do not speak nonsense!”
Cheng Jun man very rarely got angry; however, it did not mean that she could not get angry. How could women that were raised in the palace not have some ideas. She suddenly became furious, and Han shi immediately ceased crying.
Feng Jin Yuan was currently kneeling in front of the matriarch’s coffin. With the mother and daughter causing a fuss, he became extremely furious. He did not dare to hit Han shi, nor did he have the ability to hit Feng Yu Heng, but Feng Fen Dai was someone that he could do something about. He immediately stood up and kicked Fen Dai without a second word. After kicking her, he wanted to kick his concubine, but just as he raised his leg and aimed at Han shi’s belly, he could only put it back down.
But with him putting it back down meant that Fen Dai was out of luck. Her father was furious and had no place to vent, thus it was all directed at her. She had already been beaten until she had a pig’s appearance during the day. Now, she was beaten by Feng Jin Yuan at night, and she immediately fainted.
Han shi cried and did not know what to do. She wanted to go forward to stop him, but Cheng Jun Man had sent a group of servants to stop her. When Feng Jin Yuan finally grew tired from beating her, he stopped; however, Han shi did not know what was good for her and said: “Husband, the elder madam’s final will was to promote me to the position of high-ranking concubine. This was something that the elder madam had said herself!”
An shi, who was also standing vigil, was completely speechless. She felt that if she did not say anything, Han shi really would think that she was dead, thus she loudly said: “Right before the elder madam passed away, this concubine was always at her side. Why was it that I did not hear this sort of final will?” After she said this, she looked at Feng Jin Yuan: “Husband, in truth, the elder madam could not say a single word. Right after the elder madam drank the medicine, the elder madam breathed her last breath. What time would she have to leave a final will?”
Jin Zhen was to the side and also spoke up in agreement: “Sister An is speaking the truth.”
Han shi was unreconciled and said: “This was something that the elder madam said to the fourth young miss before. It is all true! Husband, the elder madam’s words cannot be ignored! Otherwise, the elder madam will become a ghost and never forgive you!”
The entire room full of people had become speechless. Had Han shi gone insane? Who was she cursing here?
Feng Jin Yuan was already on the verge of nearly passing out from the anger. He simply ignored everyone and kneeled back down in front of the matriarch. Shutting his mouth, he did not say a single word.
Cheng Jun Man looked at Han shi then glanced at the fainted Fen Dai. The anger on her face had finally reached its apex. She just took a few steps forward and loudly said: “Our Feng family is currently just the family of a fifth rank official. Who exactly gave you the courage to become a high ranking concubine? Who permitted a lowly fifth rank official to have a high-ranking concubine?”