The Former Imperial Daughter
The foot that Feng Yu Heng had raised was put back down, as she leaned back against the wall and listened carefully.
Sounds of groping came from inside the room, and a woman’s tender moans could be heard from time to time. A man’s voice could then be heard, reminding the woman: “Keep your voice down.” His tone was cautious and sounded quite fearful.
The woman said: “What is there to fear! There are many rooms between us. She has always been a heavy sleeper. Back in the manor, she would not even wake up even if there was only a screen between us. She sleeps like a log. Only you are afraid of her.”
The man said: “It’s not fear. It’s to give her maternal family face. No matter what is said, she is also from the Duan Mu branch family. The matter of taking up a post in Qing Zhou this time, do you really believe that third girl will be able to make it happen? It will still depend on whether her maternal family puts in any effort. Be quick, what if she wakes up soon. That would be bad.”
“Hah, what’s the rush! You only know to take advantage of her; however, I am unable to even live the life of a concubine. Staying at your side really is a losing proposition.”
The man spoke helplessly: “Who told you to be her accompanying maidservant. I’ve taken so many concubines, and she did not even care, yet when I brought up the idea of taking you in, she nearly destroyed the entire residence. Tell me, do I dare bring it up again? Don’t cause trouble. Come quickly…”
Feng Yu Heng did not continue to listen and returned to the railing on the deck. She pretended to look at the river, but her mind was running at full capacity.
That man and woman were magistrate Lu and his maidservant. The relationship between the two was very clear, and provided her with a bit of information. IT turned out that magistrate Lu’s madam was from one of the Duan Mu family’s branch families. With things like this, it was easy to understand why the daughter of a concubine from the Lu family could be sent into the leader of the North’s manor.
Magistrate Lu’s goal was to become the magistrate of Qing Zhou. Although the position of standard fifth rank magistrate was not high, Qing Zhou was part of Te Tian Prefecture, which was too close to the capital. If he was allowed to assume the position of magistrate of Qing Zhou, that would mean that the Duan Mu family would have a stable position of power in the central region.
But this was also fine. Feng Yu Heng calculated that there might be a chance that she could make use of what had happened between magistrate Lu and that maidservant. Although slightly dangerous, this was the most direct way of accomplishing her goals of getting into the North.
Thinking of this, she did not linger. She turned around and headed straight for the Lu family’s private room. Upon reaching the door, she could hear the sounds of snoring coming from inside. Helplessly shaking her head, she could not blame that man for liking a pretty and younger girl. It was fine if madam Lu only looked bad from the outside, but she was also lacking in refinement on the inside. If a woman’s snores were comparable to that of a man, who would still want to stay with her?
Feng Yu Heng knew that this sort of person would not wake up even if the door was kicked down, thus she did not wait any longer. Raising her hand, she removed a hairpin and stuck it into the keyhole. After twisting it a few times, she quietly opened the door.
She walked over to the bed and squatted down, maintaining a position that would leave her unseen to the person on the bed. She then pulled out a silver needle and gently poked it into a certain area on madam Lu, causing the sleeping person to immediately wake up.
The person that had woken up completely did not realize that she had not woken up in a natural manner. She subconsciously felt the other side of the bed and found that it was empty. She immediately sat up and was in a daze for a bit. The woman then said through gritted teeth: “He shouldn’t have slinked off with that damn slut, right?” After saying this, she got out of bed and put on her shoes. She grabbed a cloak and began to walk toward the door.
Feng Yu Heng stealthily followed behind her. When she passed by her own private room, she pushed the door open and went inside.
Huang Quan was standing in the middle of the room while holding a cloak in her hand. Seeing Feng Yu Heng return, she quickly said: “Young miss, you’ve finally returned. This servant was about to go out and search for you.”
Feng Yu Heng rubbed her hands and told her: “Put it on. We’re about to go and see something entertaining.”
“Hm?” Huang Quan was puzzled, “What entertainment?”
Feng Yu Heng did not reply, only reaching out and pointing out. In a quiet voice, she said: “Listen.”
Huang Quan was puzzled but went to listen. Very quickly, an uproar broke out. It was a woman loudly shouting: “I will kill the shameless little slut that you are. I will beat you to death and throw you into the river to feed the fishes!”
Following this, there was a woman’s pleading voice, saying: “Madam! Madam, don’t keep hitting me. Have mercy! This servant doesn’t dare!”
“Doesn’t dare? What is there that you don’t dare to do?” The earlier voice was filled with anger: “You shameless little thing. Bringing you along when I got married was a mistake. Treating you well for all of these years was a mistake. If you wanted to seduce the servants of the manor, it could be forgiven, but who knew that you would take an interest in my husband. Just wait and see that I won’t beat you to death!”
Following these screams, chaos immediately broke out. Many people had already run outside to take a look. The footsteps were messy, causing the owner of the boat to have no choice but to come and maintain order. He repeatedly shouted: “Everyone, go back! Everyone, go back! It’s dangerous!”
But who would listen to him. As long as this show continued, there would be onlookers. Feng Yu Heng also decided to give an order. While walking out, she said: “Go call Wang Chuan and Yuan Fei. They cannot miss out on such an entertaining sight.”
Upon opening the door, Wang Chuan and Yuan Fei happened to also be coming out. They looked at each other and heard Huang Quan say: “Young master, young madam, it seems that there are people fighting outside.”
Yuan Fei nodded and very reliably said: “Let’s go and take a look.”
Thus Huang Quan followed behind Yuan Fei, and Feng Yu Heng supported Wang Chuan. The group walked toward the crowd that had gathered.
It had to be said that the Lu family’s madam truly had an amazing amount of power. The maidservant looked to be tall and young, but when she raised her hands to defend herself against madam Lu, they were not on the same level. Having her hair pulled, she was kicked in the chest repeatedly by madam Lu. Even magistrate Lu, who had wanted to stop the fighting, was knocked over by a single slap.
The poor maidservant did not even get a chance to put the clothes that she had removed. She had been dragged out completely naked and suffered this beating. Feng Yu Heng finally understood why the owner of the boat had such a hard time getting the onlookers to go back. Especially for the men, it turned out that this was a free look at a beautiful scene! Those that went back were idiots.
Slowly, more and more people began to gather around. Seeing that the crowd could not be dispersed, the owner of the boat could only call boatmen over to keep watch and ensure that nobody fell into the river.
Magistrate Lu’s family was in a fierce fight. In this crowd, Feng Yu Heng noticed that the leader of the lower-class entertainers was looking around at everyone present. His gaze focused on the people that were well-dressed and were standing toward the side of the private rooms. Very quickly, Yuan Fei entered his field of view.
That man moved closer to Yuan Fei and seemed to have said a few things quietly to him. Feng Yu Heng stood at a bad angle. She could neither hear him nor see the shape of his lips; however, it was clear that Yuan Fei was stunned. He then turned his gaze toward her and deliberately repeated what the man had just said: “What did you say? Someone in your troupe was formerly an imperial daughter?”
Feng Yu Heng was startled and immediately recalled the girl’s familiar figure before getting on the boat. She was moved and nodded toward Yuan Fei. Yuan Fei then said: “How could an imperial daughter have become an entertainer? It shouldn’t be a scam to get more money, right?”
That man said a little bit more, and Yuan Fei seemed to have negotiated for a while before agreeing, “Then send her to my private room in a bit. I am living in room number three.”
The man happily walked away, and Feng Yu Heng looked at him for a while. Seeing him walk over to the girls’ side, he said something to a girl that had her head wrapped in cloth. That girl immediately looked in Yuan Fei’s direction; however, her gaze paused on Huang Quan, who was standing behind him.
Feng Yu Heng’s heart trembled and a very uncomfortable feeling suddenly appeared. Even if that girl used a cloth to cover her head and a veil to cover her face, she was still able to recognize her. It was Qing Le. It was the formerly popular imperial daughter Qing Le. She just knew that after Lord Ding An lost his position, he left the capital; however, she did not know what sort of changes occurred that would lead to them falling so low that Qing Le needed to become an entertainer.
But she thought about it. She could not leap to any conclusions. If Lord Ding An did not fall completely, Qing Le’s appearance here would be worthy of consideration.
She continued to look at Qing Le, who nodded to the man after seeing Huang Quan. The man was very satisfied and continued to look for targets in the crowd.
Madam Lu finally became tired from the beating. She had successfully been pulled away by magistrate Lu. She sat on the ground and wailed loudly. Magistrate Lu apologized and consoled her, finally managing to stabilize madam Lu’s mood. Unfortunately, that maidservant lay naked on the floor. She had beaten to the point of being covered in injuries. Even her facial structure had changed from this beating. Magistrate Lu did not even spare her a glance, expressing his own resolution. He very frankly said to the owner of the boat: “I am a magistrate of He Tian Prefecture, and she is one of our manor’s servants. She has made a big mistake and was deserving of death. Call some people over and throw her into the river. This official will naturally make sure to compensate you properly.”
In this feudal world, servants were no different from animals. Whether they lived or died was something that could be decided with just a few words. Not a single person would care. Even the government could not do anything about masters killing their own servants. Even if they were beaten to death, that was something that ought to happen.
When the owner of the boat heard that he was an official, he did not say anything and immediately called two boatmen over. Carrying the maidservant that could no longer speak over to the side of the boat, a “plunk” sound came, as they threw her overboard without any feelings of pity.
Feng Yu Heng looked into the river but did not feel much of anything. It was not that her heart had become cold after coming to this ancient era. Rather, it was that she had always hated women that tried their best to seduce men on the sly. Although the ancient world allowed for a man to have many wives and concubines, there were still needs to differentiate between proper concubines and these types of people that the madam did not approve of. If a woman does not know to respect herself, there was nobody that could save them.
Magistrate Lu helped the madam back to their own room. Madam Lu had a face filled with hatred. It was clear that beating one servant to death was not enough to vent the anger inside her heart. Arriving at the entrance of their room, she was not willing to go in, no matter what. She even forcefully pushed magistrate Lu inside then slammed the door behind him before sitting on the deck to continue wiping away tears.
The people saw that the show was over and returned to their own rooms to rest. The owner of the boat saw madam Lu’s appearance and did not dare disturb her. Very quickly, the boat had become peaceful once more, especially in the area around madam Lu. All of the boatmen stayed far away from her.
Feng Yu Heng raised the corner of her lips into a smile and quietly said to Wang Chuan: “You should go back and rest first. I will go and take a look.” After saying this, she walked toward madam Lu’s side…