The Insane Plan Kicks Off
Feng Yu Heng’s insane plan finally kicked off. When Chou Shu received the 50 taels from madam Lu, and when Yuan Fei watched Feng Yu Heng be taken away by madam Lu, the worry in his heart was not something that he could suppress. It surged forth, and a very frightening intuition rapidly appeared.
He had been a hidden guard for many years. In the face of danger, his intuition was very keen. Presently, intuition told him that Feng Yu Heng leaving their side and going to the North alone was extremely dangerous.
Just as he stepped forward, to pull Feng Yu Heng back, Chou Shu moved first and blocked him, lowering his voice to say: “Keep the big picture in mind.”
Yuan Fei took a deep breath and finally managed to calm himself down slightly, but after calming himself down, he sighed bitterly. Imperial daughter not traveling together with his Highness was already very dangerous. As a result, she ended up coming up with this sort of idea. How could this possibly go well?
At this time, Huang Quan had also returned; however, she did not bring Qing Le with her. She returned to Yuan Fei’s side. Upon seeing that Feng Yu Heng was not present, she knew that she had already been taken away. A tangled expression appeared on her face, but it disappeared very quickly. No matter what was said, the plan was already in motion. They definitely could not hold Feng Yu Heng back.
Thus she respectfully said to Yuan Fei: “Young master, that man in charge of the prostitutes said that woman is not for sale. If young master is interested in his other wares, you can choose another one. Only that one is no good?”
Yuan Fei angrily snorted and flicked his sleeve, saying: “Does he really think that this young master can’t be without her? I give him face, yet he does not want it! Hmph!” He then turned around and quickly walked away.
Huang Quan let out a sigh and carefully looked toward the official road to the North. Madam Lu’s family had already gotten in a carriage and was going away. She helplessly shook her head and quickly followed behind Yuan Fei.
At this time, Feng Yu Heng sat in the Lu family’s carriage. Her eyes were red from crying, and she would occasionally ask madam Lu: “Our young madam will be fine, right? With me leaving like this, young madam will definitely be heartbroken.”
With their former maidservant having been forced out, magistrate Lu was not in a very good mood. Although his manor had many concubines, under madam Lu’s oppression, these concubines spent their days living in fear. Even if they were able to give birth to children, the only ones that could survive were daughters. When those daughters became of marriageable age, they would be married off as concubines to places that would bring the family benefits. Normally, he would be able to spend at most three days each month with a concubine. As for the lower-ranking concubines, they may not even get a chance each month.
Moreover, wasn’t there that one saying. A wife was worse off than a concubine, and a concubine was worse off than a thief. Of course, a thief was worse off than one that had failed to steal.1 That maidservant was in the position of stealing. This combined with her courage allowed her to dare bring magistrate Lu to do such a filthy thing while madam Lu slept. Naturally, her position in magistrate Lu’s heart was different.
It would be very difficult to meet such a unique maidservant in the future! Thinking like this, magistrate Lu felt even more resentful. But he did not dare vent his resentment toward the madam, thus it was vented at Feng Yu Heng as a replacement.
Before madam Lu could reply to what Feng Yu Heng had said, magistrate Lu became angry and suddenly shouted: “You conscienceless little whelp! Who is your young madam? A slave that we have already purchased continues to recognize someone else as their masters. What’s the point of having this sort of slave?”
Feng Yu Heng curled up into a ball in fear; however, she snorted coldly to herself. For the sake of putting on a performance, she had forcefully made Yuan Fei into an angry and debauched character; however, who knew that the truly angry and debauched man was magistrate Lu. On the day that he had gone to Yuan Fei’s room, he looked to be quite obedient; however, who knew that he would flip as quickly as a book’s pages.
But he only shouted a bit. To have him truly do something was not quite possible. With madam Lu present, even if his tongue and lips were fast, magistrate Lu could only stop here.
Madam Lu had a gloomy expression while looking at him and coldly snorted, saying: “What is it, now that I have an inexperienced girl at my side, you aren’t able to do anything? Things are worse than with that little slut, right? Lu Zheng Tian, I’m telling you that if you want to reach the position of magistrate of Qing Zhou, you need to rely on the Duan Mu family. Otherwise, just based on your paltry connections, don’t even bother thinking about it.”
When the position of magistrate of Qing Zhou was mentioned, magistrate Lu immediately shriveled up. The position that he had been hoping for could only be obtained by relying on the Duan Mu family. Otherwise, why else would he have never succeeded despite his many years of working in the shadows.
Seeing that Lu Zheng Tiang had fallen silent, madam Lu rolled her eyes then reached out to pat Feng Yu Heng, lowering her voice: “Don’t be afraid. He’s just a paper tiger.2 It’s fine for scaring people, but he doesn’t have any other abilities. When you were working in the prime minister’s manor, your young master also had this sort of temper. Thinking about it, this sort of scene is something that you are familiar with.”
Feng Yu Heng nodded, saying in agreement: “Lord Lu and madam Lu are already great people. The previous young master really…” When she said the words young master, her eyes began to turn red, and madam Lu began to console her.
But consoling was just that. Amidst all that she said, she did not forget the reason that she had bought this girl. She would occasionally ask about some things related to the prime minister’s manor, and Feng Yu Heng would casually make up some nonsense. She would then loop the conversation back to how prime minister Fung did not get along with prime minister Feng Jin Yuan. In the end, Feng Jin Yuan lost his position as an official. At the same time, she had come up with a name for herself, Qian Xi.
The three people in the carriage all had their own thoughts, as they hurriedly rushed North. Wang Chuan’s group that had been left behind in Qing Zhou waited anxiously but did not dare go North to give chase. After all, the Lu family could be considered a snake in its home territory. In addition to madam Lu being related to the Duan Mu family, they had suddenly purchased a new servant. With such a large commotion being caused, it would definitely cause someone with motives in place to take notice. Perhaps there were already people that had begun to investigate. If they moved out now, it would be too dangerous.
Wang Chuan’s group was stuck in Qing Zhou. At the very least, they would need to wait three days before they could change their appearance and set out once more. At this time, Xuan Tian Ming’s large army continued to traverse the mountains. Bai Fu Rong’s technique when riding horses had improved a great deal over the past few days, but it continued to be awkward. She was not as much of a natural as Feng Yu Heng.
Bai Ze and Xuan Tian Ming placed her in the middle to protect her. In name, it was to protect her, but they were really observing her. Bai Fu Rong did not know what exactly was going on and focused entirely on controlling the horse. She feared that the horse would go crazy on this rugged mountain and toss her off.
Bai Ze noted her nervous aura and could not help but say: “If you knew that this day would come, you should have practiced riding horses.”
“Hm?” Bai Fu Rong was startled and did not understand what Bai Ze meant: “How could I have known that such a day would come?” She stared wide-eyed, “This is something that I stumbled into. I am forcing myself to do this. Otherwise, what would a craftsman’s daughter like me learn how to ride horses for?”
Bai Ze smirked, “You are indeed the daughter of a craftsman, but not one of your close friends is simple. Aside from the Fung family’s daughter, tell me, whether it’s palace princess Wu Yang or General Ping Nan’s daughter, in addition to our own princess, which one of them is not an extremely capable person? If you want to get along with them, you should have made preparations. Something like riding a horse is something that would have been done sooner or later.”
“Tsk.” Bai Fu Rong rolled her eyes, “To be able to get these sorts of friends is my father’s ability, but who said that I need to know how to do everything that my friends can do? Go ask Fung Tian Yu. Does she know how to ride a horse?”
Bai Fu Rong picked up on everything that Bai Ze said, not letting a single thing past her. Bai Ze rubbed his nose and thought to himself, sure enough, not a single one of the princess’ friends is lacking in wit. But Bai Fu Rong, oh, Bai Fu Rong, I want to see just how much longer can you continue to pretend.
The army continued in the mountains for another five days before finally arriving in Qing Zhou. But the army could not travel along the main road. They would begin another round of traversing the mountain just up ahead. On that day at around midnight, Bai Ze brought a secret letter over to Xuan Tian Ming. On the sealing wax was the “Chuan” character, thus they knew that it had been sent by Wang Chuan.
Xuan Tian Ming opened up the letter and could not help but be shocked. Bai Ze did not understand why his master would show such an expression. Looking over to investigate, he nearly dropped to his belly in fear.
“Th-th-th-this….” That woman was too bold, right?
The hand Xuan Tian Ming held the letter with clenched into a fist, as the letter was crumpled into a ball. The knuckles in his fingers began to pop.
Feng Yu Heng, what exactly are you doing! Xuan Tian Ming looked up at the sky and needed all of his effort to prevent himself from chasing after her. At this time, his inner thoughts were the same as Bai Ze’s: “Find someone to investigate. Only pay attention to see if there are any suspicious people following behind the Lu family. We must ensure the imperial daughter’s safety.”
Bai Ze nodded and immediately went to arrange it.
Five days later, more news arrived. Bai Ze told Xuan Tian Ming: “Aside from Wang Chuan’s group that is continuing to travel North, nobody suspicious was found.” He paused and said: “It’s not just the Lu family that has nobody following it, even Wang Chuan’s group isn’t being followed. Thinking about it, those people have gone to search back at the capital.”
He recalled what he had heard that night between Bai Fu Rong and the person in black. He was still puzzled about this matter. But he had still found reasons to treat Bai Fu Rong well over the past few days. Otherwise, once Bai Fu Rong released details on Feng Yu Heng’s movements, he would immediately take action and kill her.
Xuan Tian Ming heard this and did not feel surprised. Tilting his body to the side, he squinted and looked in the direction of the camp where Bai Fu Rong slept. From childhood until now, he had never complained about being born into the imperial family. To him, whether it was a prince or a commoner, they were all alive. It was just the case that a prince had a few more responsibilities and had to fight a few more battles. Moreover, that was where his ambitions lay, thus he found it quite comfortable.
But these expeditions were different. His life now had a woman, and that woman had almost the same personality and hobbies as him. When word of a battle was mentioned, that damn girl would bounce a foot off the ground. She was even happier than he. At first, he was looking forward to the two of them standing on the battlefield together; however, that damn girl had now discarded her maidservants and hidden guards. She knew that the army would be traveling slow. This trip to the North would require at least four months. Over these four months, just how worried would he be?
From the Autumn wind blowing away the leaves to the Winter wind chilling their bones, snow finally began to fall.
Two months had passed…
1: This one is a bit of a long one, and I’m not 100% certain on the explanation. A wife was worse off than a concubine because concubines are often brought in after the wife. With the appeal of being fresh, the concubine would receive more favor. A concubine is worse off than a thief because the thief is one that has stolen the affections of the man. A thief is worse off than one that has failed to steal because something that remains just out of reach is most enticing.
2: A paper tiger is something that’s outwardly intimidating while having nothing to back it up.