Lu Cuo’s Death
The master and servants went back toward the front yard. Feng Yu Heng kept her head down without speaking the entire time. She was thinking about the situation the entire time. Even Wang Chuan and Huang Quan were thinking about the earlier scene.
After hearing Feng Yu Heng’s doubts, the two felt that there was indeed something a little off about those siblings, but they could not say what exactly seemed off about them.
While they walked, a servant ran down the path in a panic in their direction. At first, she bumped into Huang Quan. Huang Quan frowned and asked: “What happened that caused such urgency? What courtyard are you from?”
The servant was stunned at first. When she looked up and saw Feng Yu Heng, she quickly pulled her hand out of her sleeve. It turned out that she was holding some snacks in her hand. She said: “Replying to young miss, this servant takes care of the eldest young master’s courtyard. Just now, the new madam’s wet nurse had this servant go to the kitchen to get a few pastries, saying that she was worried that the new madam would get too hungry and not be able to endure until young master returns at night. This servant feared that the new madam would feel a bit ashamed from having people hear about this, thus I hurried back and ended up bumping into the miss. Would young miss please not assign blame.”
Feng Yu Heng nodded. A bride wanting to sneak a few bites was reasonable, thus she did not say anything and allowed the servant to return.
The front yard was still lively. Whichever table Yao Shu went to toast would see him be kept for a long time. Quietly returning to her seat, her shoulder was suddenly tapped from behind just as she sat down. She turned around and saw that it was Xuan Tian Ge.
“When did you get here?” She pulled Xuan Tian Ge to sit at her side, “I didn’t see you when they were inside the wedding hall.”
“I just got here.” Xuan Tian Ge said: “There were some matters at home that delayed me. I didn’t see the most lively moments. How is it going? Is the bride beautiful?”
Feng Yu Heng smiled bitterly, “Can you be a little more reasonable. The bride has had her bridal veil on the entire time. How could I see if she’s beautiful or not.”
Xuan Tian Ge smirked, “Even just thinking about it, you can know that she won’t be particularly beautiful. The foundation of the Lu family is like that. I really can’t understand how the groom of the Yao family ended up taking an interest in the Lu family’s daughter. I heard that it was the groom himself that wanted this?”
Feng Yu Heng also could not understand this and could only vaguely say: “It’s most likely that she is to his tastes.”
Xuan Tian Ge shrugged and did not continue with this topic. Instead, she asked her: “I see that your fourth sister came. Why did I not see Xiang Rong?”
Feng Yu Heng told her: “She was supposed to come, but Xiang Rong sent someone in the morning with a message saying that his Highness the fourth prince had an embroidery that he could not get right, and she was called over to the Ping Palace first thing in the morning. No matter what is being said, she is not being let go. I fear that she won’t make it in time for this banquet.”
“Hah!” Xuan Tian Ge’s desire to gossip burned bright: “Do you feel that fourth brother seems to like Xiang Rong?”
Feng Yu Heng was startled and recalled how his Highness the fourth prince really did vent his anger when Lu Yao had treated Xiang Rong in that way. But to speak of liking… “That’s not too probable, right?”
“How is that not possible!” Xuan Tian Ge was preparing to speak, “You weren’t in the capital a while ago, so you don’t know. Fourth brother has been learning embroidery very seriously. From time to time, he would call the Feng family’s third young miss to the Ping Palace to teach him. After having her teach, she would stay for food. Not just this, he takes the initiative to send tuition fees to the Feng family’s third young miss each month. Although it was sent back a few times, with the Ping Palace’s perseverance, Xiang Rong ended up accepting it. Say, if he didn’t have good feelings toward Xiang Rong, would he be so serious?”
Feng Yu Heng was puzzled, “He’s already been imprisoned, yet he still has money? Hasn’t it all been confiscated?”
Xuan Tian Ge smirked, “Haven’t you heard that a camel that starved to death is still bigger than a horse?* In any case, he is a prince, and the confiscation of his things was just for show, with uncle Emperor no longer giving him any spending money. The Ping Palace has a foundation built over many years. How could it collapse with just a few words.”
Feng Yu Heng smiled wryly, “But Xiang Rong’s feelings may not lay with his Highness the fourth prince.”
“Hah! That’s not something we should worry about. As I see it, Xiang Rong does not reject him greatly. Maybe it really will happen.” Xuan Tian Ge laughed, but she also began to feel a little worried after laughing for a while, “Fourth brother is also locked up right now. I wonder whether it would be good or bad for Xiang Rong if he really does become interested. Xiang Rong is your younger sister. If you want her to marry someone better, there is naturally something that can be done.”
Feng Yu Heng asked her: “What are you saying is even better?”
Xuan Tian Ge was startled then thought for a bit, saying: “The noblest status is naturally that of a prince, but a prince…” There really were not many decent princes left. The eldest and second princes were older and had wives in their palaces. If Xiang Rong married into their palaces based on her family’s standing, she really would not have much of a foundation, but with Feng Yu Heng’s status, there would be none that would dare to underestimate her. The third prince was already dead, and the fourth prince was locked up. The fifth prince was planning to marry the Feng family’s fourth, while the sixth prince and eighth prince were away. The ninth prince belonged to Feng Yu Heng. Calculating it like this, there was only the seventh prince that remained.
Xuan Tian Ge facepalmed: “It seems that these princes aren’t very reliable!”
Feng Yu Heng helplessly shook her head and said: “I never believed that marrying into a noble family would definitely be good. With your ninth brother as an example, if he wanted to take in concubines, I would not marry him.”
“Hm?” Xuan Tian Ge was stunned, “You mean to say that you want Xiang Rong to find a man that will devote himself entirely to her for his entire life? A-Heng, you need to know that it’s very hard to find that sort of man in the world!”
“There isn’t such a requirement. After all, each person has different thoughts, but it would be best if she could marry someone that goes along with her desires.” She then patted Xuan Tian Ge, “Alright, stop looking at other people. As for you, you’re older than us by a few years. Even if his Majesty dotes on you, I fear that you can’t stay much longer, right? You’ll end up an old and unmarried girl.”
When this was mentioned, Xuan Tian Ge became depressed and said very unhappily: “I don’t want to get married yet.” As she spoke, she sighed, “What I fear isn’t uncle Emperor keeping me. Instead, it’s that he hasn’t thought of how I should get married. After all, I am the only palace princess of Da Shun. It’s inevitable that I will need to get married for political reasons. It’s just a matter of how and where.”
The topic was depressing and neither wanted to continue to talk about it, thus the two went and played with Zi Rui and Xuan Fei Yu. They then talked about Bai Fu Rong for a while. Just as Yao Shu was approaching their side with the wine, they suddenly heard a disturbance coming from the path to the inner courtyard. A few servants ran out in a panic and looked around before stopping their gaze on the table where Feng Yu Heng was seated.
This table had a number of the Yao family’s masters. The two maidservants trotted over with looks of horror on their faces. One of them even began crying.
At this time, Xu shi was seated and could not help but frown and scold: “It’s a grand wedding. What are you doing?”
Because of the sudden scream, the majority of the people present were looking in their direction. One of the maidservants that could still speak said to Xu shi: “Head madam, some- someone di-died in the courtyard!”
“What?” Xu shi was extremely shocked. This sudden news made it so that she could not control her emotions. Her voice was a bit louder, causing the people that had not noticed earlier to look over.
Feng Yu Heng heard this news and furrowed her brow slightly. She seemed to have guessed something and quickly gave an order to her servant: “Wang Chuan, go over and take a look with them.” After saying this, she rested a hand on the back of Xu shi’s hand and calmly said: “Aunty, do not worry. Let’s investigate it first.” After saying this, she waved to the servants that had let out the screams. Two retainers came over, and she asked one of them: “Tell me in detail. What happened?”
The retainer was a bit braver than the servants. Hearing Feng Yu Heng ask, they quickly revealed what they had seen: “We servants were walking normally around the manor. We found a corpse on the path to the bridal courtyard. It’s a man and appears to be unfamiliar. He is not someone from the manor.”
“Oh?” She was still guessing, but she could not understand. If it was that person, how did he end up dying in just a few moments? “Were there any injuries on his body?”
The servant nodded, “There was blood on his throat. It seems that something pierced his throat.”
“What happened?” At this time, Yao Jing Jun also walked over. The servants repeated what had happened once more. Yao Jing Jung became furious and turned around to walk in the direction of the problem.
Feng Yu Heng saw this and did not continue to hide it. She simply supported Xu shi and brought the others along.
Hearing that something had happened, the guests naturally went to check things out. Aside from the scared madams, young misses and children, everyone else followed into the backyard.
During this, Wang Chuan returned and nodded to Feng Yu Heng, thus she developed an understanding.
Not long later, they arrived at the place where the situation had occurred. Sure enough, the man that had come to look for Lu Yao had become a corpse. Laying quietly on the ground, blood continued to pour from his throat.
The members of the Yao family went forward to investigate. Xuan Tian Ming moved to Feng Yu Heng’s side and quietly asked: “Do you know this person?”
Feng Yu Heng quietly said to him: “If my guess is not incorrect, it should be the Lu family’s eldest son.”
“Lu family’s eldest son?” Xuan Tian Ming had absolutely no impression of this person. After thinking for a while, he shook his head and asked in confusion: “Why would he be here? Even dying in the Yao family?”
Everyone was thinking about such questions to themselves. As for Yao Jing Jun, he had already begun to ask everyone: “May I ask everyone, do you recognize this person?”
A braver man moved forward and looked carefully. Finally, he pointed at the corpse in surprise and said: “This… this is the Lu family’s eldest son, Lu Cuo!”
“Lu Cuo?” Yao Jing Jun had heard of such a person before. After all, the Yao and Lu families were about to become related by marriage. He was quite clear on what sort of people were in the other family. It was just that this Lu Cuo was often out of the province, so he had never met. Seeing now that the person being pointed at was recognized as Lu Cuo, the doubts in his mind became even more profound. “Servants.” He gave orders in a heavy voice: “Go to the bridal courtyard and bring the servants that came with the bride from the Lu manor.”
Very quickly, the two maidservants and wet nurse from Lu Yao’s side were brought over. When they saw that there was a corpse, they were shocked pale. One of the maidservants even fainted.
Yao Jing Jun asked in a low tone: “Do you recognize this person?”
The wet nurse was the most steady, quickly replying: “Replying to eldest master, this person… is the eldest son of the Lu manor. His name is Lu Cuo.”
Upon hearing someone from the Lu family ascertain the deceased’s identity, Yao Shu was a little anxious. He could not help but ask: “Wasn’t it said that the eldest son of the Lu family was away and would not come? He was not on the list of guests that had registered. How did he suddenly appear here?”
The Lu family’s servants did not know how to reply, but the wet nurse thought quickly and turned her gaze on Feng Yu Heng…
*TN: When someone of great wealth becomes poor, they’re still better off than the average person.