Father, You Are Just a Wastrel
Cheng Jun Man’s words dazed Feng Jin Yuan. He blankly asked: “What is the point of a receipt for a loan? Where is the need for one?”
“Naturally, the receipt is for the 200 thousand taels owed to second young miss.” Cheng Jun Man blinked and solemnly told him: “The money was borrowed by the elder madam, and it was spent on the Feng family. Currently, second young miss is only 13 years of age and has not yet become of age. She has no obligation to pay the Feng family’s debts. Moreover, even if she was of age, she would have married into someone else’s home. She would have entered the imperial family’s register, and she would have even less reason to shoulder our Feng family’s debts. Today, second young miss brought out 200 thousand taels to relieve the Feng family of an emergency. We should feel grateful, but we definitely cannot accept it as if it’s natural. That’s why husband must prepare a receipt for a loan. A period should be set for when this money shall be repaid. Only then would we not become subject of ridicule, nor will we be looked down upon by our children.”
Her words caused Feng Jin Yuan’s face to alternate between bright red and ashen white. He hated that he could not find a hole to squeeze into, but at this very moment, Zi Rui spoke up: “Zi Rui has not returned to the capital for half a year. This family, has it already been ruined by father to the point that not even 200 thousand taels can be brought out?”
Feng Jin Yuan opened his mouth and wanted to refute it, but Zi Rui continued: “I remember that before marrying that eldest princess from Qian Zhou, father spent a large amount of money to buy new things for her.” While he said this, he shook his head, “Father, you are the head of the family, but why do you only think of yourself when doing things. Why can you not think of your children?”
Zi Rui was young, and he was also short; however, the words that he spoke were those of an adult. To be scolded by such a small child, Feng Jin Yuan had no face left. He trembled and pointed at Zi Rui and wanted to curse at him; however, Cheng Jun Mei was the first to speak: “Young master is his Majesty’s junior disciple. Husband should think carefully before speaking.”
Feng Jin Yuan felt that his life was truly unfortunate. One daughter had become a county princess and one son had become the Emperor’s junior disciple, which cause him to feel even more helpless. His two head wives were the Empress’ nieces, and he could only speak with them from a lower position. The matriarch was the only one that he could speak to, but now, the matriarch had passed away.
His heart ached, and he finally choked up and began to cry.
This was the first time that he truly cried tears after the matriarch had died. While crying, he walked toward the mourning hall. After he kneeled in front of the coffin, his cries became wails.
The other people also returned with him and watched him cry. When he finally grew tired from the crying and his voice grew quiet, Cheng Jun man finally said: “If husband does not wish to bear this debt, we can use the two hamlets left behind by the elder madam to pay it.”
Feng Jin Yuan had no objections and nodded without thinking, accepting the arrangement.
Feng Yu Heng looked around at the people in the room that all had their own thoughts. She sneered to herself and said: “Of the two hamlets, one will be given to Xiang Rong, and one will be given to Fen Dai. This will be used to supplement their dowries when they get married.” After saying this, she once again pulled Zi Rui and Xiang Rong’s hands to return to Tong Sheng pavilion.
Along the way, Xiang Rong said to her: “Second sister, this hamlet was something that you paid money for. Xiang Rong will not take it.”
She did not have any grand intentions. She just shook Xiang Rong’s hand and said: “Since it has been given to you, just accept it. In the future, no matter who you marry, having a larger dowry will be better, and you will not be bullied by the people in the husband’s family. If the elder madam had borrowed the money for herself, I would not have done anything to help; however, she had done it out of good will. She had borrowed the money to help the granduncles settle down in their new homes. Back when we returned to Feng Tong county, the clan elder had treated me quite well. Spending this bit of money is not a loss.”
With her having said this much, Xiang Rong could no longer refuse without looking argumentative, thus she nodded and sincerely said: “Thank you, second sister.”
The group returned to Tong Sheng pavilion, and Zi Rui rushed forward upon stepping inside the manor. Feng Yu Heng looked up and saw Yao Xian standing there with his arms open, waiting for that child to dive into him.
Seeing Zi Rui get picked up then spun around by Yao Xian, she seemed to have returned to her own childhood. She had also been picked up by her grandfather and spun around. She also recalled when she had pulled on his beard and called him a deity old man. This all felt as though it had happened yesterday, but in the blink of an eye, this was already a different world. Fortunately, the heavens were sympathetic, and she was able to reunite with her grandfather in Da Shun. This was the true fortune amidst all of the misfortune.
She walked forward and patted Zi Rui, saying: “Maternal grandfather is getting older, and you have become quite heavy. You’ll end up tiring maternal grandfather.”
Zi Rui hugged Yao Xian around the neck and refused to let go, saying seriously: “Then Zi Rui will eat less starting today. I will have my body become lighter. Like this, maternal grandfather will be able to continue holding Zi Rui.”
Yao Xian laughed loudly and carried Zi Rui over to Yao shi’s courtyard. While walking, he said: “Just eat as much as you want. No matter how heavy you get, grandfather will be able to pick you up. But you need to go see your mother now. She has missed you greatly!”
Feng Yu Heng watched the old and young walk away, and the smile on her face could not be removed. Xiang Rong tugged at her sleeve: “Second sister, I’m really hungry.”
Feng Yu Heng was also very hungry. Originally, she wanted to eat as soon as she had returned to the manor. Who knew that there would be so many problems in the Feng manor. With this delay, the sky had already become dark.
She quickly ordered the servants to prepare some food. She then brought Xiang Rong back to her own courtyard.
Just as the food was served, Yao Xian also arrived. The three got together and ate the meal. Xiang Rong ate while staring at Yao Xian, and this caused Yao Xian to feel a little unnatural. He put down his bowl and felt his own face then helplessly said: “Third girl, if you continue staring like this, maternal grandfather will not be able to continue eating.”
Xiang Rong let out a “pft” and began laughing. She quickly helped Yao Xian pick up his chopsticks then said with a laugh: “It would not be good if maternal grandfather could not eat. Xiang Rong has just missed maternal grandfather. When maternal grandfather took the uncles and cousins away, Lady Yao and second sister left not too long later. Xiang Rong has been waiting in the manor this entire time for all of you to return. Now that you have finally returned, I am very happy.”
Mentioning the matters from before, the group felt a little emotional. Yao Xian patted Xiang Rong’s head and helplessly said: “The blame can only be placed on your father for not being anything good. He does not take care of doting on his own children, instead focusing his energy on currying favor with those in power. Even now, when he has fallen to such a degree, he does not appear to have given up.”
Feng Yu Heng shook her head, “He’s not someone that can give up on things. It’s just that he no longer has Feng Chen Yu to provide him with the position of empress, thus I do not know what his future plans are.” As she said this, she turned her gaze on Xiang Rong, and Xiang Rong’s expression sank. She understood what her elder sister meant. “Don’t worry.” She patted the back of Xiang Rong’s hand. “You are still young. Even if Feng Jin Yuan has this sort of idea, who knows what can happen in these four years.”
“That’s right. “Yao Xian was in agreement with these words, “We do not know what might happen tomorrow. Third girl, you should not think too much about it.”
Xiang Rong nodded and put on a smile.
Feng Yu Heng had no intention of pursuing this matter any further. Either way, there would be four more years. This girl needed to be tempered a little more, but there was a matter of utmost importance that had to be taken care of first. She discussed with Yao Xian: “Paternal grandfather, would you be fine with coming into the palace with me tomorrow?”
“What? Go into the palace?” Yao Xian was startled and waved his hand: “No good, no good! It’s not that you don’t know, I…” He spoke to this point then paused and looked at Xiang Rong. He then changed his tone: “It’s not that you don’t know, my return this time goes against an imperial decree. The Emperor still has not permitted me to return.”
Xiang Rong was an understanding child. How could she not clearly see through this situation, thus she quickly finished eating the food in her bowl and put it down, saying: “Maternal grandfather, second sister, you two can keep chatting. I will go play with Zi Rui for a while. That little guy has not returned for a long time, and I was quite missing him.” After saying this, she got up and ran off.
Yao Xian watched Xiang Rong’s departing figure and helplessly shook his head, “This third girl seems to have been very close with Yao Xian. Unfortunately, I could not find too many things relating to her in Yao Xian’s memories.”
Feng Yu Heng told him: “That’s because the real Yao Xian hated Feng Jin Yuan’s concubines. Even if An shi was brought in because of Yao shi’s decision, he still felt ill-at-ease. The Yao family has a rule. A man shall not take a concubine, and a woman shall never be a concubine; however, Feng Jin Yuan continued to bring concubines into the manor. Tell me, what sort of good memory could the old Yao Xian have of a concubine’s child.”
The old man nodded, “That’s right. I say, A-Heng, you clearly know that I am not the real Yao Xian. Why do you still want for me to go into the palace? The old Yao Xian has plenty of memories of this old emperor. Those two were very close. If I were to make a mistake and reveal something, would it not cause trouble?”
Feng Yu Heng laughed, “Grandfather, oh grandfather, what mistakes are there to make? Your soul has inhabited this body. It’s not easy to replace it. No matter how anyone pokes at your mistakes, you are definitely the real Yao Xian!”
But he still shook his hand: “No good, no good. I still have not prepared myself mentally to enter the palace.”
“What preparation is needed?” Feng Yu Heng felt helpless, “Although the current Emperor has an explosive temper towards other people, in reality, he is someone that values comradery. Moreover, I am hoping that grandfather can go into the palace tomorrow to stall the Emperor, such that he will not go and cause trouble for imperial concubine Yun.”
“Imperial concubine Yun?” Yao Xian was startled and began to search through his memories. It seemed that he had a bit of an impression, but it was nothing too profound.
Feng Yu Heng saw his expression and knew that there was no real drama, but she still felt unreconciled and asked: “Is there really no memory? Regarding imperial concubine Yun, she is his Highness the ninth prince’s birth mother. Grandfather, imperial concubine Yun has a strange feeling for Yao Xian!”
The old man pondered for a while then helplessly shook his head, “I can’t remember. The old Yao Xian’s memory only reveals a time from when he was young and lived in a mountain for a while. During that time, he was always treating someone. It was a woman around 20-years-old. I cannot recall the details of that situation, nor can I remember what that woman looked like.”
Feng Yu Heng furrowed her brow and thought about how a young Yao Xian had treated the illness of a 20-year-old woman. That woman definitely could not be imperial concubine Yun. The age was off. Who could that have been?
She could not figure out the situation and felt a little annoyed, but she still felt unreconciled and asked him: “Can you really not go into the palace? In truth, even if grandfather does not go in tomorrow, you will still need to go sooner or later.”
Yao Xian was very resolute, “If I can delay it by one day, I will delay it by one day. When the Yao family left the capital, he told him to take good care of you three, but you were still sent by Feng Jin Yuan to that sort of place to live and die on your own. Just thinking about it makes me angry. I will not go into the palace! Even if I die, I will not go into the palace!”
Feng Yu Heng knew just how stubborn her grandfather could be, thus she did not say anything further. Instead, she just handed him some ribs: “Eat a little more. This was made by the chef from Refined Deity Building. You still don’t know about Refined Deity Building, right? When the Feng family has finished conducting its funeral, I will bring grandfather over for a meal.”
As the grandparent and grandchild spoke, Huang Quan quickly ran back from the outside, “Young miss.” She arrived in front of Feng Yu Heng and urgently said: “When this servant was coming back from the government office, this servant saw Duan Mu Qing’s carriage procession. I heard that they are about to return to the North. The wind lifted one of the curtains, and I saw that the person inside seemed to be… his Highness the third prince!”