I Didn’t Come to Pay Respects, I Came to Collect Debts
She personally prepared the living arrangements. Yao shi would live in the innermost courtyard, she herself would live in the second courtyard, and Zi Rui would live in the outermost courtyard. Each courtyard had plenty of main and wing rooms. There were enough to house the servants.
She turned two of the wing rooms in her courtyard in to small medicine rooms. She then arranged for them to arrange a wall of cupboards with Chinese medicines. She also placed some outstanding offerings along with some paper and ink stones.
In addition, this courtyard originally had two storage sheds, which could barely fit the betrothal gifts.
Feng Yu Heng looked at the overall arrangement of the courtyard. It was as though it were prepared just for them. Everything fit perfectly and naturally.
Zi Rui’s courtyard had something that was exactly like a decent study, which already contained books.
The little guy seemed very happy, as he carried around a military book, unwilling to let go.
Yao shi had relatively speaking, no major hobbies. She also had not inherit the medical ability of the Yao family. She spent her days doing needle work and embroidery.
Feng Yu Heng thought that this too was good. She had a son and a daughter, so she would enjoy years of stability and happiness. She further arranged for two livelier servant girls to take care of Yao shi. This way, it would seem more lively.
But after moving, they found that the amount of servants they had was truly too little. She had granny Sun go and find that servant merchant to buy five more. They were also given the name Zi.
After the addition of this manor, it became the Feng family’s largest courtyard. Connected by a tiny moon gate, it was like an existence like Shangri-La. Feng Yu Heng originally wanted to return Willow courtyard to the Feng family, but the matriarch insisted that they did not want it, so she did not insist. Thinking of the movement back and forth if someone moved in, the moon gate might become widened. If about that possibility, she assigned two servants to guard the path. If there were people that wished to see her, one would run inside to report, while the other would keep the person outside.
The new manor had been named “Tong Sheng pavilion” by Feng Yu Heng. Huang Quan was stunned upon hearing this name and asked Feng Yu Heng what it meant. She explained the truth: “No person can exist on their own. A wise person knows to rely on others, so it is only by living together that one can live a long life.” 1
Huang Quan’s eyes flashed with joy: “Second young miss, you and his Highness truly are a match made in heaven!”
She blushed slightly from the words of the servant girl, “Who wants to be a couple with him?”
“Even the words you say are the same. If you don’t become a couple, then that truly would be a pity.” Huang Quan giggled: “If it weren’t for the fact that I’ve been beside the young miss these past few days, then I really would have wondered if the young miss had already met his Highness. And had even thought of this idea of sharing life together.”
She was slightly dazed. Did that person also say such things?
In truth, she felt that calling it Tong Sheng palace would be more domineering, but this was just a mere courtyard that existed near the Feng manor, thus it could not be called palace. In the future, if they became independent of the manor, it still would not become Tong Sheng manor or something similar. This was merely something she thought of in the present for fun. Calling it as such for a few years is enough.
That night in Tong Sheng pavilion, everyone slept very well.
Feng manor, through the intentions of the matriarch, sent every courtyard many sheets and blankets. The matriarch had even prepared brocade blankets for the three masters and even more items for daily use.
In reality, these things would never see use because Feng Yu Heng found that that person had already made the courtyards of the three very proper. Even the main rooms’ had neat bedding, not to mention the furnishings of the rooms. They truly had everything they could ever want.
She just lay in the well-furnished room and slept deeply for the first time since transmigrating to this world.
The next day, Yao shi, Feng Yu Heng and Feng Zi Rui went together to Shu Ya courtyard to pay respects to the matriarch.
Because they lived far away, the manor’s three young misses and two concubine mothers were already present. Chen shi was sentenced to solitary confinement, so she could not leave, and that Jin Zhen for some reason still had not appeared.
When the three appeared in the distance, Feng Fen Dai’s eyes became red to the point of shooting fire.
Speaking of the past, she really only envied the good clothing that Feng Yu Heng worse. Presently, she was drooling over that Tong Shen pavilion.
Having her own residence, how great was that!
She had never thought a woman could receive such treatment. In her mind, women stayed at home, starting with their fathers, to marrying her husband, to the death of husband and wife. Before marriage, she would live at home. After marriage and until death, she would live with her husband’s family. How could there be a home that could be considered her own.
Although Tong Sheng pavilion was still part of the Feng manor in name, it had its own deed and its own land. That small moon gate, which Feng Yu Heng could fill at will, would mean that it had nothing to do with the Feng manor.
This sort of life, Feng Fen Dai wanted a chance at.
Fen Dai was not the only one with such thoughts. Chen Yu was also jealous to an extreme.
Although the Feng family said that everything was done with her in mind and would make the best arrangements for her, she had to pay a price. She had to maintain a face worthy of being the Empress dowager and maintain a certain degree of virtue. Heaven knows how many times she had been furious to the point of insanity, but she did not dare butt heads with elders the same with Feng Yu Heng did. She did not dare strive to better her own conditions. Feng Chen Yu did not have freedom. She only had what could be described as an infinitely bright future.
But… that was the future!
Yao shi and Feng Yu Heng had come walking slowly, with Feng Zi Rui behind them, also walking in a well-behaved manner. He did not appear to be like a normal child who would look everywhere out of curiosity.
The three entered the room and properly saluted the matriarch paying their respects.
THe matriarch, seeing the three people appear before her eyes once more, felt differently than she did when she saw them the day they returned.
“Quickly get up.” She did her utmost to appear more amiable. Facing Feng Zi Rui, she beckoned to him: “Dear grandchild, come over to grandmother.”
Feng Chen Yu’s expression immediately sank. Last night, Feng Zi Hao had just caused such a disturbance, and now the matriarch was acting in such a way to Feng Zi Rui. It could not help but make her overthink.
Feng Zi Rui obediently went up but did not get too close. He only advanced a few steps before saluting again: “Zi Rui pays respects to grandmother. It has been a long time since I last fulfilled my duty to my elders. I hope grandmother will not blame me.”
“I do not blame, not at all!” Feng Zi Rui’s sensibility made the matriarch think of the time when Yao shi was the head wife and could not help but be filled with emotions. At that time, the Feng family truly had the wind at their backs. How could there be such worrying things like in the present. “Granny Zhao, quickly give them a seat.”
The three people sat. Zi Rui sat next to Xiang Rong. Xiang Rong quite liked this child. Hiding a small smile, she secretly squeezed his small hand.
Fen Dai harshly glared at Han shi, blaming her again for her noncompetitive nature.
But this girl looked around the room and found that one person was missing. She could not help but ask: “What happened to that newly entered, concubine mother Jin Zhen? Why has she not come to pay respects to grandmother?”
Feng Yu Heng secretly chuckled. This Fen Dai really was a good talent at stirring up trouble.
As soon as Jin Zhen was mentioned, nobody was happy to hear it. The matriarch coldly hmphed and said: “It would be best if she never appeared before my eyes. Just looking at her annoys me.” But thinking about of whether Feng Zi Hao could be cured, she began to hope that Jin Zhen could deliver a son to the Feng family.
Han shi was also one who was not afraid to speak and said: “Little sister Jin Zhen was someone taught by the head wife. She should be very knowledgeable of the rules in marriage. Could it be that because the master has been staying overnight at Ru Yi courtyard, she has been getting up late.” After speaking, she did not forget to laugh her signature laugh.
The matriarch was already annoyed with Chen shi. Hearing Han shi express it like that, she became even more unhappy “How could anything that witch teaches be good?”
Feng Yu Heng acted as though it were difficult to speak: “Speaking of, mother has been sentenced to solitary confinement, so who will I look for to collect concubine mother Yao’s shops?”
Feng Yu Heng had brought up the matter of the shops. The matriarch stared at a small porcelain bottle in her hands.
From the moment Feng Yu Heng had given her the medical plasters, the matriarch felt that she had been greatly affected. How could the ancient people have seen anything lightweight and Western like a medical plaster. Not only was it unlike the heavy things other doctors would prescribe, most importantly the effect was immediate. She had only used it for two days, but she had found a trick. Not only sticking it to her waist, she could stick it anywhere she felt pain and it would help.
Thinking of the time she suddenly felt dizzy at night, Feng Yu Heng had felt her pulse and said that she would bring some good medicines. Could it be that the good medicine was in that bottle?
The matriarch waved to granny Zhao: “Go bring Chen shi over and have her bring the deeds.” Thinking again, she added: “Also have her bring the account journals.”
Granny Zhao received the orders and left. Feng Yu Heng covered her mouth as she smiled. She rose and advanced a couple steps, placing the bottle before the matriarch: “This is the medicine A-Heng prepared for you. I have used the valuable medical herbs given by his Highness Prince Yu. Some are rarely seen by our Da Shun.”
The matriarch received it with a smile. That look of joy was even more noticeable than the day she received the glass-type jadeite beads from Chen shi.
Feng Chen Yu strongly repressed the resentment in her heart and faintly said: “Second sister does not dishonor her status as the granddaughter of imperial physician Yao. You’ve truly inherited his skill.”
Feng Yu Hen acted modest: “How could it be. What maternal grandfather taught was but a few years. Furthermore it was when A-Heng was still young. How could it compare to having mother teach eldest sister everyday.”
The matriarch coldly hmphed, “That witch. Chen Yu, you absolutely must not learn from your mother.”
Feng Chen Yu felt very grieved in her heart, but she still said: “Chen Yu will listen to grandmother.”
The matriarch nodded, not wanting to continue talking about Chen shi. Looking at the porcelain bottle in her hands, she asked Feng Yu Heng: “Dear granddaughter, quickly tell grandmother, how this medicine should be taken?”
“Grandmother does not need to use it everyday. But the next time you feel dizzy, pour out a half-pinky-nail worth of powder and down it with water.”
In reality, she had merely taken some blood pressure pills and crushed them then placed them in in a porcelain bottle as was used by the ancient people. A half-pinky-nail amount was about half a pill. Giving it to the matriarch would help protect her from sudden spikes in her blood pressure.
The matriarch was very satisfied with the emergency-use medicine. Not wanting to hand it to someone else, she simply stuffed in her own sleeve: “I will hold on to it myself to avoid a situation where I need it but the servant is not present.”
Feng Yu Heng nodded, “A-Heng only hopes grandmother will continue to be healthy.” Only when you are healthy, can you help me deal with that Chen shi. In order to get rid of Chen shi from the Feng manor, she, as an insignificant concubine’s daughter, did not have enough say. Having the matriarch help would make it much easier.
Everyone waited for a while, as granny Zhao brought Chen shi over. Behind her were Man Xi and Bao Tang.
Feng Yu Heng took notice of Man Xi’s nails. She still had nail polish applied. She counted the days. Tonight, she would give that girl the medicine.
Chen shi walked to the middle of the room with a gloomy face. Facing the matriarch, she bowed symbolically and casually said: “Paying respects to mother-in-law.” Then sat plopped herself down next to Feng Chen Yu.
Granny Zhao arrived in front of the matriarch with some papers and some books in hand: “These are the deed and journals provided by the head madam.”
1: The name Tong Sheng or 同生 is comprised of the characters for same/together and birth/life.