The imperial daughter’s manor:
Xuan Tian Hua’s sudden visit was a bit of a pleasant surprise for Feng Yu Heng, who was bathing the little white tiger. However, the one even more shocked was the little white tiger that was taking a bath.
Feng Yu Heng did not have a bath lotion for tigers, but her space had one that could be used for pet dogs. She brought it out and used it to bathe Xiao Bai. At this time, the Xiao Bai that was covered in bubbles saw Xuan Tian Hua and let out a howl. Jumping out of the tub, it rushed toward him then tightly held onto Xuan Tian Hua’s thigh and clung to his robes. No matter what, it refused to let go.
Feng Yu Heng was speechless. Why was this tiger the exact same as Feng Zhao Lian?
Xuan Tian Hua was not at all unfamiliar with the small animal. After all, the tiger’s mother was one that he had taken care of while in the East. Thus he did not hate that it was covered in bubbles and picked it up. He even leaned close and smelled it before asking Feng Yu Heng: “What did you use? What made it smell so fragrant?”
Feng Yu Heng thought a bit. It seemed that she had only given Xuan Tian Hua some toothpaste and a toothbrush but had never given him any bath lotion, thus she quickly said: “It’s a type of thing that’s specifically used for washing animals. There’s also one for washing people. When seventh brother leaves later, I will give you some.”
Of course, Xuan Tian Hua would not refuse, “The things you have are always good.” While speaking, he patted the little white tiger’s head. The little guy dove into his embrace and ended up causing Xuan Tian Hua’s robes to become soaked.
Feng Yu Heng helplessly received the little thing and pushed it back into the tub to continue washing. The little white tiger let out a few unreconciled cries but it was unable to escape fiendish hands. Xuan Tian Hua felt that this was entertaining, thus he also went forward to help wash the tiger. While splashing some water on the tiger, he said to her: “There is news of the reparations from the Luo Province’s prefect.”
Feng Yu Heng’s eyes lit up, “How much are they preparing to pay?”
Seeing her become like this, Xuan Tian Hua felt helpless, “You aren’t really lacking in money. It’s fine if you just want to mess around with other people, but is there any need to continue the act so much in private?”
Feng Yu Heng shook her head, “Who said that I’m not lacking money. I’m really short on money. Over the years, although I earned quite a bit of money, the majority of it has already been spent. Hundred Herb Hall needs to be expanded and requires investment. It does not sound like much, but when actually putting it in motion, it’s quite a startling sum. Seventh brother, I never told you before, but my Hundred Herb Hall is different from the other medicine shops and medical clinics. It’s working in accordance with my requests and understanding. Although it is still far from the desired outcome, it needs to be handled one step at a time. In this world, I hope that it will make it even better. As for those corrupt officials or those that are not aligned with the courts, their wealth would be the best source of the world’s improvement.”
Xuan Tian Hua was in agreement with this saying, thus he told her: “The Luo Province’s Mu family wishes to use 60 percent of their family’s wealth to repay that pearl from the Eastern Sea. I feel it’s alright. What do you think?”
“If seventh brother thinks it’s good, it’s good. I don’t understand these things and don’t have much of an understanding. It’s fine as long as we don’t suffer a loss.”
Xuan Tian Hua told her: “It isn’t just breaking even, it’s a huge profit. That pearl might be rare, but it’s still just a small item. The Mu family, however, has been running the Luo Province for nearly ten years. There are many merchants that pass through the South, and trade between Da Shun and Gu Shu is very intimate. His family fortune is extremely great. With this, you’ve struck gold.”
“That is a result of seventh brother’s efforts. I didn’t do anything.” She smiled and asked Xuan Tian Hua, “Say, will that prefect of Luo Province be so angry that he won’t be able to sleep? He shouldn’t be thinking of ways to retaliate against us, right?”
Xuan Tian Hua shook his head, “It’s certain that he won’t be able to sleep, but to say that he will retaliate against us in the capital, he does not have that ability. But after he returns to the South, there will definitely be some communication with Old Eighth. This is something that we can do nothing about. Old Eighth’s power in the South is already very steady. If they become even closer in the future, it would indeed become a lurking danger to the court. Fortunately, Ming’er has already made preparations to head in that direction. I trust that after he goes over, he will be able to settle them down a little. It should be rather evenly matched and not too passive.”
“It’s just a pity that he said that he will not bring me along.” Feng Yu Heng sighed slightly, “I really want to go over and take a look. You also know that I can’t sit still. He’s going South, and you’re going East. When that time comes, I’ll be the only one left in the capital. Even just thinking about it makes me cold and flustered.”
When this was brought up, the atmosphere became a bit subdued. Feng Yu Heng did not want to carry on and happened to have finished washing the little white tiger. She simply picked it up out of the water and placed it on a towel. Wrapping it up, she picked the tiger up. In truth, she really wanted to go into her space to blowdry the little white tiger, but Xuan Tian Hua was present. Entering and exiting her space would not be too convenient.
The two played around with the white tiger while arranging the day that the Luo Province’s prefect would send the reparations. Not long later, Huang Quan entered from the outside then quietly whispered into Feng Yu Heng’s ear. Feng Yu Heng frowned and pushed the white tiger into Huang Quan’s arms. She then stood up and smiled to Xuan Tian Hua: “I’ll be going out to handle some matters. Does Seventh Brother wish to come along?”
Xuan Tian Hua nodded, “I’ll go along with you.”
But his outer cloak had been soaked by the little white tiger and had not yet finished drying. Feng Yu Heng thought for a bit then simply had him take off his cloak. She brought it into her room then entered her space while nobody was watching. She used a blow-dryer to dry it before exiting her space. She then returned the clothes to Xuan Tian Hua, and the two left the manor with their servants. They then climbed into the imperial carriage that Xuan Tian Hua had come in.
At this time, inside the Yao family’s other courtyard, Yao shi was staring at an unfamiliar maidservant, her eyes filled with caution and rejection. The maidservant looked to be 15 or 16 years of age, and she was very well-mannered. She saluted to Yao shi very properly then stood to the side, waiting for her new master to speak.
Yao shi was someone that never had a strong ability to speak to others. She was a bit angry, but she did not know what she should say. She looked toward Fu Ya for help, and Fu Ya nodded, taking the initiative to ask the maidservant: “Say, you were someone sent by the Wen Xuan Palace?”
The maidservant nodded, “Responding to miss, this servant is Tian Qing and was sent by Princess Wen Xuan to specifically take care of Lady Yao.”
“But we already have enough servants here. They were all prepared by the Yao manor’s side. They are very convenient to use, and we don’t need another one. Princess Wen Xuan’s good intentions, we accept them, but you… can go back and thank the princess for us.”
The maidservant was clearly prepared for this rejection and was not at all surprised by Fu Ya’s words. Rather, she felt that it was very peaceful. She smiled and replied to Fu Ya: “When I came, princess said that the Yao family’s other courtyard’s arrangements were very complete and also has the perfect amount of people. It has neither too many nor too few. There’s no fear of not being able to take care of the work, nor will it feel crowded. But miss, you see, Lady Yao and Princess have been good friends for many years. She may not need additional people to take care of her, but this servant has always worked at Princess’ side. Thinking about it, staying at Lady Yao’s side for some conversation would be best.”
“I don’t need anyone to chat with me.” Yao shi spat out this cold sentence, which caused the servant to freeze. Right before coming, Princess Wen Xuan had only told her that she had to keep a closer eye on the girl Fu Ya. As for Lady Yao, she had just said that the two had grown up together and wanted her to chat with Lady Yao more often about the past to get a bit closer.
Tian Qing did not expect that her conversation with Yao shi would begin on this sort of note. There was not the slightest bit of friendliness. There was not even the slightest bit of feelings from growing up together that Princess Wen Xuan had spoken of. Yao shi had never even revealed a smile from start to end and asked her even more cautiously: “How long do you intend to stay in this courtyard?”
Tian Qing was startled then replied: “This servant will be staying here to take care of Madam forever!”
Yao shi immediately furrowed her brow, and her voice had become shrill. She even leaned forward unconsciously, “What did you say? You still be staying here forever?”
Fu Ya quickly went to support her, consoling her at the same time: “Mother, don’t worry. You must not get angry. If there is something, daughter will ask about it.” After she spoke, she looked toward Tian Qing and said to her: “My mother usually speaks with me. She did not like chatting with servants. We will say it again, we have accepted Princess Wen Xuan’s good intentions. Please go back!”
“There are no buts.” Fu Ya said with a sunken expression, “You also saw it. My mother’s health is not very good. You standing here is also not inviting any kind feelings. It’s even going to cause her to get angry. I think that if you aggravate my mother even further, I feel that this is not an outcome that Princess Wen Xuan desires either, right?”
“Is miss the lady’s adopted daughter?” Tian Qing was quite smart. Seeing that the former path was no good, she would simply move away from the earlier topic and ask about something else. At the same time, she would pick up the cushion that Yao shi had thrown on the ground in her agitation.
Fu Ya focused on supporting Yao shi and did not pay much attention to her, only replying: “I’m not her adopted daughter.”
Yao shi also chimed in: “She is my proper daughter. How could she be my adopted daughter? Do the servants of the Wen Xuan Palace know how to speak? Do you even have a master in your eyes? She is my daughter. In this courtyard, if you call me madam, you must call her young miss. Do you understand?”
Although there were doubts in Tian Qing’s mind, she still quickly accepted: “This servant understands. Would Madam please not worry. In the future, this servant will definitely work in accordance with the rules of the courtyard. Young Miss,” She called to Fu Ya and saluted to her.
Fu Ya was startled and gave Yao shi a look. This was considered as having taken in this servant? But their original intention was to chase her away?
Anger welled up inside Yao shi once more, as she no longer wanted to see Tian Qing, thus she waved her hand: “You can go. Don’t come in unless called.”
“Yes, Madam.” Tian Qing obeyed and left. To be able to remain in this courtyard on her first day was fortuitous. She was in no rush.
Seeing Tian Qing exit, Fu Ya quickly went to close the doors. When she returned, she heard Yao shi say: “in the end, this is a small family that does not have as many people as a palace. With just a few words, she ended up staying. What should be done in the future?” While speaking, she sighed, “Princess Wen Xuan was indeed very good to me in the past. We did grow up together, but I don’t know why she no longer feels intimate since the time I went to the palace to request an invitation for you. In all, it’s a reprimand for me being improper. They all say that you… hah, forget it. I won’t bring it up. At present, the courtyard has one. I fear that our days in the future will no longer be as free.”
Fu Ya furrowed her brow tightly and comfort Yao shi for a while. After thinking for a bit, she said to Yao shi: “Mother, sit for a while. Daughter will go out and see what that servant is doing. Since she has come, we can’t be too passive.” After speaking, she began to walk toward the door. When she saw Tian Qing once more, she did not say a single word. She just walked up and fiercely slapped Tian Qing across the face!