Master for a Day, A Parent for Life
Following this shout, the imperial carriage stopped directly across from Feng Yu Heng’s carriage. The attendant lifted the curtain, and the fourth prince, Xuan Tian Yi, came out.
Feng Yu Heng had stood up to receive Xiang Rong, but now that she saw that the fourth prince had come, she could not stop her lips from curling into a smile, as she proclaimed internally that he was someone loved despite his faults.
Before she could react, Xuan Tian Yi rushed over and cupped his hands: “Imperial daughter Ji An, long time no see!” For someone that had been placed under house arrest for a long time, he was in quite good spirits. His manner of speaking also lacked the former awkwardness, and it was much more candid.
Feng Yu Heng just thought that everyone said that embroidery could allow anyone to calm down, and this caused the fourth prince to become completely different.
Thus she also bowed toward him and said: “Your Highness, well met.” When the two met once more, they were no longer as courteous and warm in their greetings, calling each other fourth brother and younger sister. Instead, they directly called each other by their titles. It sounded distant, but it was far better than the conspicuously awkward intimacy of before.
After Xuan Tian Yi greeted Feng Yu Heng, he did not continue to pay attention to her. Instead, he leaped off of the imperial carriage and took a few steps toward Xiang Rong, saying very respectfully: “Master, disciple has come to bring you to the banquet.”
Xiang Rong frowned while taking a step back. She then said very impolitely: “Who told you to come and pick me up? Quickly go back!”
“What would I go back and do?” Xuan Tian Yi waved his hand, “Father Emperor finally allowed me to come out and participate in this palace banquet. Why would I go back?” While speaking, he took in the clothes that Xiang Rong wore along with the set of pink-jade head ornaments. He nodded with great satisfaction, “That’s right, I was saying that these clothes would look good. You’re young, so how can you always act so lacking in youthful vigor?”
Originally, Xiang Rong had a good personality and was a bit weak. But after these two years, first, she had her patience worn thin by the changes in her family, and second, ever since she had begun teaching Xuan Tian Yi about embroidery, her temper would go out of control for some reason. It was to the point that whenever they met, it would end in a heated confrontation. This time was the same. Once Xuan Tian Yi’s words came out, she immediately fought back: “Who are you saying is lacking in youthful vigor? You’re the old one! You’re someone that’s reaching 30, yet you don’t do anything proper. You only spend your days in your palace learning embroidery, what a bright future!”
Xuan Tian Yi moved to cover her mouth, but Xiang Rong avoided this. That person then stomped his foot and said: “Grandaunty! Don’t be willing to say just about anything! I did have a bright future, and I did have proper business to handle, but can I do those things now?”
Xiang Rong was startled. Only then did she remember that he was a prince. In the past, he had handled rather important matters, and he had even schemed to obtain the throne. Now that he had finally been taught to be tranquil, if he regained his fighting spirit because of her provocation, that would not be a responsibility that she could bear.
Upon thinking of this, she quickly changed her tune: “You learning embroidery is also quite good. Embroidery can calm a person. Move aside, I will be going to the banquet with second sister.”
How could Xuan Tian Yi allow her to get into Feng Yu Heng’s carriage, as he quickly spoke up, “Look here, you are my master. This is something that everyone in the capital knows. This time, father Emperor permitted me to leave my palace and enter the imperial palace, which is an extremely great grace. I especially brought an embroidery that I personally worked on, hoping to give thanks to father Emperor. Master, just help me out. With me personally sending you into the palace, word of it will definitely make its way to father Emperor, and father Emperor will definitely be able to see that I have changed and know how to lead a proper life. In the future, he may concern himself with me a little more. Just treat it as helping me out.”
With him saying this, Xiang Rong felt her heart soften a little. After thinking a bit about the past year, Xuan Tian Yi had been quite obedient. Aside from working on embroidery, he did not do anything else. He just spent every day locked up inside the Ping Palace. For a prince, this was quite a problem for him.
With her heart softening, Xuan Tian Yi struck while the iron was hot, “Today is the Mid-Autumn Festival. Everyone is going into the palace to make father Emperor happy. If father Emperor hears that I was able to devote myself fully to learning embroidery from you and did not cause much of a disturbance and lowered my status to personally bring you into the palace, he will be extremely happy to hear about it. Whether as a son or as a subject, isn’t our only job to make the person on top happy! What do you say?”
There was nothing that Xiang Rong could do. She never felt that Xuan Tian Yi was particularly good with words, but he was speaking very smoothly today, and it left her unable to refuse. She could only apologize to Feng Yu Heng: “Second sister, I’m sorry. How about… I sit in his carriage!”
Feng Yu Heng did not mind and nodded with a smile, saying: “Go ahead! We’ll meet in a bit inside the palace.”
“Un.” Xiang Rong agreed then bowed before preparing to head in the other direction. As a result, Xuan Tian Yi remained in place, while she took a step forward. The two nearly bumped heads, causing Xiang Rong to reflexively raise her foot and kick at him: “Get out of the way!”
Xuan Tian Yi quickly moved aside. While gesturing for the driver to help Xiang Rong into the carriage, he cupped his hands to Feng Yu Heng and the people watching from the side: “The young girl is being thoughtless. We’ve allowed everyone to see something ridiculous! Ridiculous!”
Xiang Rong angrily turned around and spat out: “Who are you calling a little girl? Master for a day, a father for life!”
“Right, right.” Xuan Tian Yi quickly agreed, “Master for a day, a parent for life.” He then smiled and got into the imperial carriage.
The driver set the carriage in motion, leaving Feng Yu Heng to laugh while sitting in front of the carriage. Huang Quan asked her: “Young miss, what are you laughing at?”
She shrugged, “It’s nothing. I’m just feeling that you can’t always look at someone through the same lens. You must only make your judgment after a few experiences. Take today’s fourth prince, for example. Who would’ve thought that the person that worked alongside old third would now be like this?”
These words left Huang Quan also feeling a bit moved, but she still urged Feng Yu Heng to return inside the carriage to avoid being looked at by onlookers. She then called for the driver to move forward in order to pick up Feng Zhao Lian who was waiting for them at the entrance of the Lian residence.
Today, Wu Li Sheng did not follow. The only one accompanying him was the usual servant. Feng Zhao Lian wore a red dress like always, but this one was newly made. Doing away with the bit of arrogance that was mixed with his delicate demeanor that could be seen in the North, the clothes gave off a bit of a charming feeling from Jiang Nan. The curves of the body were very elegant, and anyone that saw would want to look at him a little longer.
Feng Yu Heng truly could not hold back and asked: “Are you going to a banquet or taking part in a beauty pageant?”
Feng Zhao Lian did not pay any heed to her words and only moved his hair back a bit before saying: “I saw everything that just happened. That third sister of yours really does fit well with the fourth prince.”
Feng Yu Heng looked at him sideways and said: “As I see it, not necessarily. Xiang Rong does not like the fourth prince.”
“Hah! Things like feelings can be cultivated! She does not like him now, but that does not mean that she will not like him tomorrow. As long as people are given more opportunities and given a push at the right time, I say, as an elder sister, you can’t just watch this as though it has nothing to do with you.”
Feng Yu Heng smiled and asked: “Why are you so interested in Xiang Rong?”
Huang Quan, however, picked up on this conversation and said: “I heard that his Highness Prince Lian had been going over to the Feng residence recently, and it was with a personal invitation from the fourth young miss. It must that she revealed no shortage of the Feng residence’s secrets, right? Have you heard that the Feng family’s third young miss had once received a great deal of help from his Highness the seventh prince? There are some feelings between the two?”
Feng Zhao Lian did not hide it, only saying: “His Highness the seventh prince is not suited to her.”
Feng Yu Heng laughed, “Then who is he suited to? To you?”
“Of course!” Feng Zhao Lian bragged unabashedly, “In terms of looks, he is quite suited to me.”
“I feel that his Highness the fourth prince suits you.” Feng Yu Heng said, “How about I introduce you two?”
Feng Zhao Lian shook his head like a pellet drum, “No need, no need, no need, I don’t like the fourth prince.”
“Hah! Things like feelings can be cultivated!” Feng Yu Heng copied what Feng Zhao Lian had just said, “You don’t like him today, but that does not mean that you still won’t like him tomorrow. As long as there is someone like me creating opportunities for you, while giving you two a push at the critical moment, this matter really might work.”
Feng Zhao Lian was rendered completely speechless. He had dropped a rock on his own foot. He could only endure this bitterness internally, but he was still feeling unreconciled, thus he continued to argue: “If you really have the heart to help others, once we get into the palace, you must help create an opportunity for me to interact with the seventh prince.”
Feng Yu Heng, however, said: “If I really had that heart, I would knock you out with a slap and forcefully treat your illness.”
Feng Zhao Lian trembled and did not dare make another sound.
The imperial carriage headed straight in the direction of the imperial palace. When they finally arrived near the gate, the carriage quickly slowed down. By the end, it could not continue to move.
Feng Zhao Lian called out: “Why are we not moving, why are we not moving?”
Huang Quan lifted the curtain and looked out, turning back to say: “There are too many people. The imperial carriage can’t get in. They’re all madams and young misses that came to participate in the palace banquet, and they’ve completely blocked the path.”
“Then just have them stand aside!” Feng Zhao Lian had become accustomed to being domineering in Qian Zhou. In his mind, there was no such thing as enduring and waiting. Feng Yu Heng helplessly reminded him: “This place is Da Shun. If you truly don’t have any empathy, just think about the time you spent locked up in that dark and damp place.”
With her saying this, Feng Zhao Lian gave up. He withered in his spot and did not make another sound. As for Huang Quan, she continued to look around outside the carriage. While looking, she spoke with the driver. Feng Yu Heng began to give Feng Zhao Lian a lesson: “The banquet for the Mid-Autumn Festival has been split into two groups. The male guests and female guests cannot enter through the same gate. The one we are entering through is the Rui Gate*, which leads into the inner palace. The male guests will be entering through the main gate, the De Yang Gate.”
Feng Zhao Lian sneered at this, “Regarding men as superior to women.”
Feng Yu Heng snorted coldly, “Really, I have never heard of a grown man not properly being a man, instead insisting on being a woman.”
Feng Zhao Lian gave up once more and simply ignored her. He lifted the curtain and looked outside for himself. Fortunately, he knew to cover his face with a veil to avoid exposing his face so openly.
When the curtain was lifted, there were some fragments of conversations that floated in. Feng Yu Heng heard someone discuss her imperial carriage: “Look, whose carriage is this? That it could be so beautiful?”
“It looks to be made for a girl to sit in. The only one in the capital with the status to have one is definitely palace princess Wu Yang. She is the only palace princess of this imperial family. Her status is naturally noble, and she is very doted on.”
“Not necessarily!” Someone brought up a different opinion, “Palace princess Wu Yang being doted on is natural, but to say that palace princess Wu Yang is the only one in the capital to sit in this sort of imperial carriage, do not forget that there is also an imperial daughter, imperial daughter Ji An!”
*TN: Rui as in lucky or good omen
TN: De Yang would be male virtue