Make You Completely Disoriented
Everyone watched Feng Yu Heng flip open the little book then begin to read out the names that were written in it. They were none other than those that had said bad things about Feng Yu Heng outside of the palace entrance.
There were not many people, but after the book was closed, those people who had let out a sigh of relief were immediately put on edge once more, as Feng Yu Heng said: “There are still a few more that this imperial daughter will name.”
Thus everyone from the seventh princess of Gu Shu to the madam of Lan Zhou’s prefect, Jiang shi, to the ones that had provoked her into dancing, roughly 20 more people were named. Adding the earlier group, a total of 35 madams and young misses were called to participate.
Seeing that Feng Yu Heng had stopped, the number of participants had been set. Xuan Tian Ge spoke up: “Don’t just stand around in a daze. Quickly go and pick yourself a horse. This palace princess has already been seated on this horse’s back for a long time. Just how long do you intend to keep me waiting?”
With Palace Princess Wu Yang speaking up, there was nothing that these people could do. They could only bite the bullet!
But these madams and young misses were not even as tall as the horses. Looking at the tall horses, not to mention riding them, but they might not even be able to climb onto their backs. How could this be good?
But even if there was nothing that they could do, the servants at the horse track had plenty of tricks. Thus footstool after footstool was brought out to provide them with some help, as they said: “Would the madams and young misses use these to get onto the horses.”
These words completely froze the hearts of those that were wanting to use the excuse of not being able to mount their horses.
When they finally mounted their horses, they found that they could not even sit steadily. As long as the horse moved even a bit, they would begin to shriek. Those that were less brave even began to cry.
Feng Yu Heng frowned while looking at them and asked in confusion: “What are you crying for? You are already doing better on that horse than this imperial daughter did while dancing. Even when I, a dignified imperial daughter, lost face, I did not cry. What are you crying for?”
Xuan Tian Ge was puzzled, “My Da Shun’s country was founded on the backs of horses. Starting from the first clan, it was built over many generations, regardless of whether they were men or women. Now that the world is at peace, you can’t just go ahead and forget all about it!”
The palace princess and imperial daughter had both spoken. Only then could the girls that were crying manage to hold back their cries, but the fear was still there. This was their first time sitting up so high, and it had to be said that they were sitting on a living being. It was as frightening as it could possibly be. They were not allowed to cry and could only close their eyes to await death.
The seventh princess of Gu Shu did not think that racing horses was particularly scary. She had never ridden a horse before, but she had gotten used to riding camels in the desert. That would have her even higher up than a horse. It also ran rather quickly, thus she was not too shocked by the horse. Thus she arrogantly asked Feng Yu Heng: “How will we compete?”
Feng Yu Heng raised her voice and told everyone: “It’s very simple. It will be five laps around the track, and we’ll see who finishes first.”
Gu Shu’s princess nodded, “Then is there a prize?”
Feng Yu Heng asked: “What prize?”
“A prize for racing horses!”
Feng Yu Heng shook her head, “There isn’t. It’s the same as your dance. It’s just a simple performance.”
The people that heard this were speechless. So stingy!
But Feng Yu Heng still made some considerations for the safety of these madams and young misses, thus she had the head instructor of the horse track very seriously teach the participants the basics of horse riding. She also arranged for a palace maid to run with each of the madams and young misses to prevent anyone from not having anyone to take care of them.
But at the same time, she told everyone: “Don’t feel that just because you have someone below to protect you, you can be free of worries. You need to think a bit about your own family’s face. Unable to ride a horse, you fell and had to be caught by a palace maid. How unseemly a thing is that!” After she said this, she covered her lips and smiled. Giving Xuan Tian Ge a look, the two moved their horsewhips and set their horses in motion. In the blink of an eye, they had run off.
When the head instructor of the horse track saw that the two masters had already begun, he quickly urged the palace maids to begin setting the horses that the madams and young misses were riding in motion. The seventh princess of Gu Shu did not need protection, as she rushed forward on her own. Although she did not move as quickly as Feng Yu Heng’s group, she was not moving slowly.
Very quickly, they completed a lap but found that the horses being ridden by the madams and young misses were moving forward very slowly. It was as though they were moving through a crowded street. Those that were less bold had not yet gotten used to it, but those that were bolder had already become accustomed to riding a horse, thus they did not think much of it. Either way, they did not plan on competing for first or second, and there was no real prize. Just meandering along for these five laps was also quite good. Thus the group rode in a group. They even began to chat.
Xuan Tian Ge said: “This is no good. This is like wandering through a street market. What’s the point?”
Feng Yu Heng nodded, “Indeed, it’s too unseemly.” She rushed in front of the group and looked back, saying: “It seems that the horses chosen by madams and young misses are not too spirited. This imperial daughter and Palace Princess Wu Yang have already completed one lap, yet you have only come a few steps? It seems that we need to think of something to hurry up these horses. Huang Quan!” She ordered her maidservant, “Go and take a look at why those horses won’t run. If they’re old horses, just help them swap out the horse. If the horses are lazy, just give them a whip. I want to see which one of them dares to not run!”
Once these words came out, Huang Quan immediately went to work, whipping the horses and setting them into a run.
The people on the horses let out shrieks in shock, but with the palace maids supporting them from below, there was no fear of falling. Moreover, Huang Quan knew what was appropriate and did not whip the horses too hard. This ensured that the horses would not run too fast but would also make for a bit of a bumpy ride. Those madams and young misses would need to endure a bit of hardship, but to speak of falling, it would not be so easy.
As things continued, more and more people began their bumpy rides. Feng Yu Heng nodded in satisfaction, “This looks a bit more like racing horses.” Thus she tugged at Xuan Tian Ge, and the two continued to rush forward.
Finally, the two finished their five laps. Not long later, the princess of Gu Shu finished her race. But the madams and young misses had not even completed two laps. They saw that Feng Yu Heng had finished and were hoping that this race would be over, but when they returned to the starting point and were preparing to stop, they heard the Empress speak up: “When doing things, you must carry them out to the end. Imperial Daughter Ji An did not know how to dance, but she still lost face and finished performing through the end of a song. Why is it when it’s your turn, you aren’t even able to endure a bit of hardship?”
The people heard this. Might as well continue!
After five laps, their butts were sore. Everyone had to be carried off of the horses by their own servants and the palace maids. After touching down on firm ground once more, they could no longer stand. Their legs trembled, and some people just kneeled on the ground, crying about how hard it was.
Feng Yu Heng coldly looked at those people; however, who knew if they were feeling bold or had mentally collapsed, as someone suddenly shouted: “Imperial Daughter Ji An is being unfair! Why were we the only ones named? You still have two younger sisters, so why not have them also participate in the race?”
Once this came out, another person immediately agreed: “Right! This is clearly deliberate revenge!”
“Oh?” Feng Yu Heng became spirited, “Revenge? To say that it’s revenge, you must first have done something worthy of revenge. Do tell, what did you guys do?”
What had they done? How could they dare say? Could it be that they would say that they had said bad things about Imperial Daughter Ji An behind her back? Or would they say that they had wanted to see Imperial Daughter Ji An make a fool of herself, forcing her onto the stage to perform a dance? After thinking long and hard, they could not say anything, thus they all lowered their heads.
But Feng Yu Heng did give an explanation in regards to her two younger sisters not participating in racing horses: “My two younger sisters did not participate in the horse race for the same reason that they did not participate in the dancing. Do you know why? You need to think long and hard about why you needed to come into the palace to participate in these performances. Everyone here is a girl. Don’t secretly understand while feigning ignorance. Your thoughts are very clear. As for my two younger sisters, one younger sister has received the right to determine her own marriage from Father Emperor. The other younger sister has already been engaged to a prince as his future official princess. What would be the point of taking the stage? I am doing this out of understanding for you. This will ensure that my younger sister will not steal your glory. Why is it that you are not grateful and are even questioning it?”
After she finished speaking, she saw them look at each other in dismay. Xuan Tian Ge added: “Don’t just stay there frozen. Quickly kowtow to the imperial daughter and give your thanks!”
There was nothing that could be done. Aside from accepting this disaster, there was nothing that they could do. Thus they kneeled and kowtowed, saying: “Many thanks Imperial Daughter Ji An for showing us pity.”
Feng Yu Heng nodded and did not say anything else to them. Turning around, she walked over to the Empress and saluted then said with a smile: “Your Highness has seen something ridiculous.”
The Empress shook her head, “A-Heng was very steady and reasonable. This ridiculousness would be from them.” After she spoke, the palace servants at her side gave her a reminder. Only then did she say: “News has come from Heavenly Hall. They said that His Majesty has already finished with the court’s matters and has called for us to head over.”
Feng Yu Heng quickly said: “The horse track is closer to Heavenly Hall than the garden. How about we just head over directly!”
The Empress was naturally in agreement, thus the group noisily headed toward Heavenly Hall. It was just that this trip was not quite as relaxed as when they had left the garden, especially those madams and young misses that had to ride horses. They were all limping or relying on servants to move forward. On their faces, their makeup had begun to run, as they had sweated quite a bit from riding around the track five times, and their hair was a bit messier. They all looked to be in extremely poor condition. They even had the heart to die from crying!
Of course, the ones that had suffered this hardship were those from outside the province. The girls from the officials’ families inside the capital could not help but sneer internally. They had not suffered any less at Imperial Daughter Ji An’s hands. They would no longer make the same sort of mistake. It was just these people from the outside, especially those from the South, whom they had heard were spoiled silly. They lived much more arrogant lives than those in the capital. They needed to know that the capital was different from other places. Being rude and unreasonable was pointless. In the capital, there were even more rude and unreasonable people than them. Prefect? Provincial prefect? Hehe, you only found out that your ranking is low after coming to the capital, right!
For a while, the people had all kinds of thoughts, but Feng Yu Heng did not appear to particularly happy. It was for no other reason. The back of her neck still felt a little bit off. When she had been dancing earlier, she had changed out of her current clothes, and the itch had immediately been suppressed by quite a bit. But now that she had changed back into her clothes and had ridden a horse around the track, why did the back of her neck begin acting up once more? Not only did it itch, but there was also a bit of a prickling pain. Could it be that these clothes…