Preparing for Marriage
“Bring that person up!” The bearded man stared straight at Feng Yu Heng. It was as though he was looking at a product, as his eyes revealed some bad intentions.
At this time, Feng Yu heng had already regained her weak and timid appearance. As the bearded man saw it, this was nothing more than a young girl. Although she was pretty and clever-looking, she was still someone that would not be able to escape her fate.
Following the bearded man’s shout, an older woman was immediately brought up the stairs. That older woman stood at the bearded man’s side and glanced at Feng Yu Heng. She then bowed to the bearded man and asked: “Is it that girl?”
The bearded man glanced at the shopkeeper to his side, and the shopkeeper quickly said: “That’s right. That room is the one the Lu family is staying in. When lord Lu left, he said for us to keep an eye on this girl and make sure that she does not take half a step outside.”
The bearded man nodded, “Un, that’s the one.” After saying this, he gestured with his chin, “Go. There’s only one night left. Adjustments need to be made.”
“General, don’t worry.” The older woman smiled, her face filled with confidence. It was clear that she was already very familiar with this matter.
She walked over toward Feng Yu Heng, and nobody knew what was going on. They were looking over in confusion; however, they heard the bearded man suddenly shout: “Quickly, prepare your birthday gifts. This general will be collecting them now!”
On that side, the people helplessly went to hand over their birthday gifts, their bitterness was resounding. On the other side, Feng Yu Heng looked toward the older woman and sneered to herself but maintained a frightened expression on her face. She also began to retreat one step at a time.
The old woman entered the room then closed the door. With a grin, she revealed her yellow teeth, saying to Feng Yu Heng with a sigh: “Don’t be afraid. This old one has come to teach you some rules. After tonight, if you can obtain lord Duan Mu’s favor, when this old woman sees you again, I will need to kowtow and call you master.”
Feng Yu Heng squinted her eyes and thought to herself that she had guessed correctly. For the sake of their own advancement, the Lu family couple was planning to send her into their leader’s palace. For her, this was very good and allowed her to not waste any time.
That night, Feng Yu Heng did not get any sleep. The old woman was also quite spirited. Without stopping, she spoke through the entire night. It was mostly just about how a woman should take care of a man. But who was Feng Yu Heng? She was someone that had experienced two lives. If she wanted to gain some information from this old woman, it was too easy.
She told the old woman: “Granny, since master and madam are sending me to the leader, I will accept my fate. I will make use of granny’s auspicious words, and maybe Qian Xi will be able to live a pampered life after obtaining his favor. Qian Xi will listen to what granny says and learn properly. If I have a good future, I definitely will not forget granny’s grace.”
The old woman saw that she was very understanding and smiled brightly; however, she was filled with disdain. You think you will have a bright future? You want to gain his favor? Dream on! The leader merely shows some warmth and kindness to each woman for two or three months. After just a few days, there would be a new person. The leader’s palace had twelve concubines. Counting you, there will be 13; however, you wouldn’t know that the nameless maidservants that he had slept with would not number less than 100.
Although Feng Yu Heng could not guess what exactly the granny was thinking, she was able to make a rough guess. But this was not something to worry about. They were just doing their jobs. The things that she wanted to know about, she would naturally ask about on her own, “Granny, Qian Xi wants to ask. What sorts of hobbies does the leader enjoy? For the sake of taking good care of him, this will also save me from accidentally making a mistake.”
The granny felt that this sort of question was very natural, thus she really spoke of Duan Mu An Guo’s hobbies. Aside from what Duan Mu An Guo liked to eat and drink, Feng Yu Heng also asked a few very valuable questions, “Over the past few months, the great leader has gone to Qian Zhou quite often. Qian Zhou’s weather is too much colder than the northern province’s. The twelfth madam of the palace is rather sensible. She knows how to make a type of warm tea. Every time that the great leader goes out or comes back, she will always prepare some warm tea. This also allowed her to gain quite a bit of favor. That’s why, Qian Xi, if you want to grasp a man’s heart, you need to get a grasp on what he needs most.”
Feng Yu Heng bowed and sincerely said: “Thank you granny for the teachings; however, I wonder what does the great leader need aside from warm tea?”
“About that…” The granny pondered for a while then waved her hand and said: “Forget it, it’s fine to talk about this to you. Either way, you will find out about it after you enter the palace. In our leader’s palace, aside from the twelfth concubine, there is also a head madam. Although she is not the great leader’s original partner, she is still a proper second wife that entered the palace many decades ago. She is also an imperial daughter of Qian Zhou. Her status is extremely noble. But she is old now, and she does not leave the palace much. She just spends her days grieving inside. This managed to make her look even older than the great leader. Now, this head madam is completely devoted to Buddhism, and she spends her days in the temple. she does not ask at all about the great leader’s matters. Not asking is just that, but the great leader cannot hide anything from her. He even needs to announce it. After all, she has a great status in Qian Zhou. The palace’s young madams had received quiet suggestions from the great leader to go and pay filial respects to the head madam, but the young madams of the palace are extremely proud. How could they be willing to do something like take care of someone. Qian Xi, if you can take good care of the head madam after entering the palace, your position in the eyes of the great leader will be different from the others. Right now, the great leader is in great need of Qian Zhou’s support. If you can help lord leader put a smile on the head madam’s face, that would be a great merit.”
Feng Yu Heng’s eyes lit up and quickly bowed once more to the granny: “Granny, don’t worry. Qian Xi has remembered it all. After entering the palace, I will definitely take good care of lord leader and head madam. When Qian Xi has a stable foundation in the palace, granny will be Qian Xi’s benefactor.”
“Girl, you really know how to speak honeyed words.” The old woman smiled sincerely and repeatedly praised her.
Feng Yu Heng also said: “No matter what is said, being a concubine of the great leader is better than being the maidservant of someone else. From this day forward, Qian Xi will devote myself to the good of lord leader and head madam. It’s just that there is a thing… that I hope granny can help with.”
“Oh?” The old woman revealed a cautious expression, “Do tell, what is this matter.”
Feng Yu Heng quickly said: “Granny, do not be nervous. It’s nothing major. It’s just that no matter how it’s said, this is the same as getting married. I should kowtow to my masters, and I wanted to see our madam one last time before getting married.”
The granny visibly let out a sigh of relief, saying with a smile: “And I thought it would be something big. This is common sense and should be done. It should be. Don’t worry, lord Lu and the madam will be returning tomorrow morning. The great leader’s sedan will be here to pick you up, and they will personally escort you to the sedan then enter the palace with you.”
Feng Yu Heng nodded and smiled, “That’s good. As a servant, I ought to follow through until the end.”
The granny continued to speak for a long time until the sky began to light up. Only then did she yawn and say to Feng Yu Heng: “Alright, you should go and rest. Regain some spirit to avoid looking bad when entering the palace.”
Feng Yu Heng smiled bitterly to herself. The day is already about to begin. How much rest could she get? Looking up once more, she saw that the granny moved toward the inner room without feeling out of place. She just sat down on the bed used by the Lu family couple then kicked off her shoes and socks before lying down without getting washed up.
Feng Yu Heng just could not understand. How did this sort of old woman end up getting into the palace? Did Duan Mu An Guo not feel disgusted when using this sort of person?
Filled with doubts, she retreated from the room and closed the door before lying down in the outer room to nap for a bit.
But she really only napped for a bit, as a knocking sound came from the door not two hours later.
Feng Yu Heng helplessly got up. The snoring sound from the granny was very loud, and she did not hear the movement outside. Opening the door, she saw the Lu family couple walk in with exhausted appearances. Magistrate Lu saw Feng Yu Heng and looked her over for a while. He then furrowed his brow and said: “Why do you look so exhausted? Look, the area under your eyes are dark. How can you get married like this?”
Before Feng Yu Heng could speak, the granny inside the inner room snored once more, and madam Lu was given a fright. She immediately shouted: “Who? Who is inside?”
Magistrate Lu also had a furious expression because the birthday banquet was today. For the sake of currying favor with the Duan Mu family and for the sake of expressing that he wanted to be close with the Duan Mu family, he had especially stayed at the leader’s palace to help out for the entire night. He wanted to come back and rest for a while; however, who knew that someone would be sleeping in their room? Could this be tolerated?
The fire in his heart immediately surged forth. Stepping forward in large strides, he kicked the door to the inner room open. This kick was not lacking in confidence. After all, he had recently become closer with the Duan Mu family. Nobody in this inn had a status that could compare to his.
Magistrate Lu’s kick did not end up waking up the granny. This person’s sleeping posture was extraordinarily bad. Not to mention the blankets being kicked onto the floor, her collar had been torn open, revealing a large portion of her shoulder. Her pant legs had also been rolled up to her knees. Her feet, covered in black ash, were rubbing back and forth against the sheets. Drool trickled out from the corner of her mouth, causing half of the pillow to become wet.
Madam Lu nearly vomited, and magistrate Lu was scared witless. Going straight to the bed, he said: “Wh-who is this person? Where did this old woman come from?”
This shout was very loud, and it caused the granny to rub her eyes. Sitting up very unhappily, she drowsily looked at the people in the room in confusion and asked Feng Yu Heng: “Who are they?”
Feng Yu Heng quickly replied: “Replying to granny, they are my master and madam.”
Madam Lu also asked Feng Yu Heng: “Who is this disgusting person?”
Feng Yu Heng had an anxious expression, shaking her hand and saying: “Madam, you can’t say that. This is a granny from the leader’s palace. She had received an order from lord leader to come and teach Qian Xi about the rules.”
Once this was said, the Lu family’s couple immediately realized that they had misspoken. Magistrate Lu’s face turned red with anxiety, and it was madam Lu that reacted quickly. With an “oh no” sound, she rushed over to the granny. A smile on her face, she loudly said: “This really is a failure to recognize a familiar person. Family has somehow managed to fail to recognize family. Lord Duan Mu is my granduncle. Speaking of, we really and truly are family.”
The granny snorted. She had heard what madam Lu had just said. She said that she was disgusting? Hmph, it was no wonder she could send her own maidservant into the leader’s palace. Sure enough, it was someone that could take advantage of the situation.
“Forget it.” The granny waved her hand, “Since you have come back, just clean up for this girl. In a while, the sedan will be coming to pick her up.”
“Yes. Granny, don’t worry. I guarantee that she will be sent to granduncle looking very beautiful.” She specifically emphasized the word granduncle. It was clear that she wanted to flaunt her standing.
The granny got up, tidying her clothes and putting on her socks and shoes before she rolled her eyes at the Lu family couple. She then walked out of the room, calling for an attendant to prepare some food for her.
Madam Lu glanced at Feng Yu Heng. A fake smile plastered on her face, she said: “You don’t need to thank me too much. After all, if you follow me, I will need to provide you with some sort of benefit. Come, I will help you get changed into the clothes provided by the Duan Mu family. In a moment, you will be getting onto a beautiful sedan.
Seeing that she was about to get changed, magistrate Lu left the room on his own, also going downstairs to eat breakfast. Feng Yu Heng obeyed and allowed madam Lu to help her put on her clothes; however, after everything was ready, she suddenly grabbed the madam’s wrist and said: “Madam, Qian Xi is really nervous. You must stay at Qian Xi’s side!”