Abnormality on the Back of the Neck
That was right! Although Feng Yu Heng had not counted how many times she had swiped at her neck, the back of her neck was indeed very itchy, thus she said to Xuan Tian Ge: “Take a look for me. I keep feeling itchy. It would be best if there’s nothing stuck there.”
Xuan Tian Ge reached out her hand to feel the back of her neck but did not feel anything. When she craned her neck to look, even tugging slightly on the collar, she did not find anything. She could not help but frown and say: “It’s most likely some hair. There isn’t anything else.”
Feng Yu Heng nodded, “Then let’s not worry about it.”
She said not to worry about it, but the itch on the back of her neck did not cease. Fortunately, it was not too bad. It could be resolved by being scratched from time to time, and she did not think too much of it. After all, it was currently a banquet put on by the imperial palace. She and Xuan Tian Ge were seated at the top. To their sides were either the Empress or imperial concubines. If she got up at this time to investigate why the back of her neck felt off, it would not be too good. Moreover, the young misses from the families of officials had begun their performances. Without anyone mentioning it and without anyone preparing, the leader of the new group that appeared was immediately recognized by the Empress: “Ah! The leader of this group looks a bit familiar? … Isn’t this Lord Wei’s daughter of his first wife? In just two years of not seeing her, she matured so much, and her dancing skills have become so good?”
With the Empress beginning to comment, all of the imperial concubines, along with the madams and young misses that sat below, began to agree. While praising this young miss from the Wei family, there were many young misses that left to begin preparing. The Empress nodded with satisfaction. What hundred-flower banquet. How long could they admire flowers for. Just watching a few dances would also be extremely boring. Having everyone participate would cause the atmosphere to warm up and not cause the scene to become frigid.
Of course, the Empress also understood that these madams and young misses gathering in one place was not just for the sake of participating in a palace banquet. They did all that they could to get into the palace for the sake of allowing their daughters to strive to be the best, to allow more people to see their beauty and wealth in order to be chosen by the wealthy and noble sons or even the princes of the imperial family.
Xuan Tian Ge told Feng Yu Heng, “That young miss from the Wei family is the daughter of the first wife of the Shun Province’s prefect. Shun Province is the first province to the North of the capital. It’s also the one that interacts the most with the capital, thus Her Highness is able to remember so clearly.”
Feng Yu Heng nodded and looked a bit more at the Wei family’s daughter, but she could not gain much of an understanding. She did not understand dance. She could enjoy watching a lively event, but she could not tell whether a dance was good or not. Feng Yu Heng would not lose to anyone when it came to talking about martial arts. When it came to academics, she could speak a bit about some ancient texts, but when it came to these arts, she really was at a loss! She could play some popular songs on the guitar, but dancing was a bit too difficult of a job. The older she became, the more she felt that she could not do it. In the past, the Feng family had invited a dance instructor, but how many years had it been. She had forgotten it so thoroughly that she could not even recall anything.
Thus she just sat there obediently, watching the young misses from the families of officials perform. From time to time, she would applaud along with the others, which helped keep up the atmosphere. Fortunately, the itching on the back of her neck was not too serious. It would occasionally return to normal, which made her think that it really was just a strand of hair that was poking her.
They watched these performances for another two hours. During this time, even Xuan Tian Ge had gone up to perform a song. Of course, as the performance of the only palace princess of Da Shun, the people present did not dare compete with her. Everyone understood the fate of the palace princess was set by the imperial family. Da Shun only had one palace princess, and it was certain that she would be part of a political marriage. All that remained uncertain was where she would be going. But regardless of where she went, it was impossible that it would be taken in by the sons of the officials of Da Shun. Thus, Xuan Tian Ge’s performance became a true performance. In her own words, they were just to make her own mother happy.
And the one to step onto the performance ground after Xuan Tian Ge was the seventh princess of Gu Shu. With an exceptionally refined dance, all of the madams and young misses present were dazed. Some of the young misses that became embarrassed immediately became too embarrassed to continue watching upon seeing the princess of Gu Shu expose herself so boldly, as her movements were very provocative.
But the people that understood said: “This isn’t much. The girls of the South have always had unrestrained personalities. Moreover, there are no men here among us. We’re all women. What’s there to be afraid to look at.”
With these words being said, the people became a little bolder, especially the madams from the officials’ families. They all turned their sights back to her and stared wide-eyed.
The palace princess of Da Shun could not be competed with, but this sort of princess that came from Gu Shu was a different matter. Some of the madams could not help but begin to scheme. If their family’s son could marry such a princess, would that not be the same as having Gu Shu has a pillar of support. Like that, their family would see an improvement in their position in Da Shun.
But there were also people that had a wait-and-see attitude. After all, the impression of the eldest princess of Qian Zhou marrying into the Feng family back then still had not completely been wiped from memory. Now that there was another princess from a foreign country, it was inevitable that the people would compare it to Qian Zhou. With this comparison, there was even more concern. Welcoming a foreign princess into their doors was not as easy as they might think.
But the people did not know that although they were thinking in this way, the seventh princess of Gu Shu did not mind in the slightest. When she was dancing, her gaze was mostly drifting toward Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu’s location. Every smile was even brighter when facing Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu.
Of course, Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu was not a fool. Ever since she had arrived at the location of the hundred-flower banquet, the princess from Gu Shu had been revolving around her. From time to time, she would talk about the matters in the South or ask about how her life in the palace was going. She even mentioned that she had met His Highness the eighth prince in the South, and His Highness had asked her to send his respects to his imperial concubine mother. Such a clear display of kindness, if Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu still did not understand, things would be a little too hard to pass off, but she was still calculating things in her heart. After all, Xuan Tian Mo had never mentioned a desire to welcome a princess from Gu Shu in his letters, but now that the princess was interested, she needed to make considerations for her son. Just how much value would this marriage have.
While she was thinking about this, Gu Shu’s princess had finally finished her dance; however, she did not immediately leave the stage. Instead, after she saluted, she looked around and rested her gaze on Feng Yu Heng, “Imperial Daughter Ji An, why do you not come down and perform a dance?”
To have Feng Yu Heng dance was something that caught everyone off-guard. Of course, it was not just because the princess of Gu Shu dared to provoke Feng Yu Heng. They just felt that whether or not Feng Yu Heng danced, it did not matter in the slightest. She was someone that had a person in her life. In this sort of disguised marriage meeting, what would she get involved for? What glory would she gain?
But Gu Shu’s princess had openly called her out, and there were people that felt curious. They wanted to see how Feng Yu Heng would handle it.
In an instant, everyone turned their eyes on Feng Yu Heng; however, they found that she was acting as though it did not concern her. She continued to sip tea and eat fruits. She would occasionally pick up a pastry to eat. She did not think anything of what the princess of Gu Shu had said.
The seventh princess naturally disliked seeing this. In addition to this, Feng Yu Heng did not give her any face in front of so many people. For a while, she felt a little stuck and angrily shouted: “Feng Yu Heng! You’re being impudent!”
Once these words were said, some of the family members of officials that came from the capital could not help but sigh and thought that this princess of Gu Shu really was unlucky! Ren Xi Feng and Fung Tian Yu even began to discuss: “Will A-Heng tidy up that arrogant little princess? How about we place a bet!”
Of course, this shout was not something that Feng Yu Heng could just ignore, thus she slowly spoke up, reminding the seventh princess: “Pay attention to your status when speaking.”
“You!” The seventh princess had been rendered speechless by this and did not know how to handle it. The princess of a vassal state naturally could not compare to the position of an imperial daughter from Da Shun! On what basis could she say that she was being impudent? But in the end, she was someone born into the imperial family. She was able to very quickly adjust her mood, putting a smile on her face. She did not mention her earlier faux pas. Instead, she decided to use a spoiled tone to say: “After coming from far away, what’s wrong with wanting to see Imperial Daughter’s dance!”
A petite and beautiful person would always be able to arouse feelings of sympathy. The family members of the officials from the capital understood Feng Yu Heng and did not immediately change sides, but the ones that came from out of the province could no longer hold out. This was especially the case for those that came from the South. They were already a bit more intimate with Gu Shu. How could they not help the princess at this time.
Thus the first voice spoke up: “Speaking of, this will also help in the relations between the two countries. A guest from far away, it would not be good to brush off the seventh princess.”
Feng Yu Heng felt that this voice was familiar. Looking in the direction of the voice, she found that it was the madam of Lan Zhou’s prefect, Jiang shi.
Jiang shi did not dare face Feng Yu Heng’s gaze directly, as she averted her gaze, but her words had opened up a path for others. In an instant, calls for Feng Yu Heng to perform a dance could be heard all over. There were even people that said: “Palace Princess Wu Yang has even gone to perform. Could it be that Imperial Daughter Ji An views herself as being even above Palace Princess Wu Yang?”
Once these words came out, Xuan Tian Ge became furious. She wanted to speak up for Feng Yu Heng but was stopped by said person, who pulled her back. She slightly shook her head. She then gestured further up the stage, and the majority of the imperial concubines could be seen agreeing. Even the Empress seemed to be interested, saying: “This One really has not seen A-Heng dance before.”
Someone immediately agreed from the side: “That’s right. Normally, we see the Feng family’s girl move around with swords and spears, and her medical abilities are amazing, but when it comes to dancing, that really is fresh.”
Xuan Tian Ge helplessly rolled her eyes, “These people watching the show aren’t worried about things getting out of hand? A-Heng, don’t mind them. If you don’t want to dance, nobody can force you.”
The members of the Yao family could also see that Feng Yu Heng was troubled. others did not know, but could they not know? Feng Yu Heng was sent out of the capital at the age of nine. She spent three years in a shabby mountain village. After she came back, the Feng family had such a vile environment, and she needed to think every day about how to stay alive. How could she know how to dance? Even if she learned before the age of nine, it would just be a bit of what every little girl was taught. Now that she was much older, she must have forgotten the majority of it.
Xu shi saw that Feng Yu Heng did not speak up and wanted to speak up for her, but Feng Yu Heng also shook her head to her, forcing her to hold her words back.
Xuan Tian Ge continued to advise her: “A-Heng, don’t think about anything. There’s no need to pay any attention to these people.”
Only then did Feng Yu Heng speak up, telling her: “Who said that I don’t want to dance! Isn’t it just a dance. I am extremely willing.”