It Will Depend on This Prince’s Mood
“Gu Shu’s seventh princess?” Feng Yu Heng sat in the yard while eating fruit. Sitting across from her were Xuan Tian Ming and Xuan Tian Hua, “I thought about it before. Aside from that seventh princess, who else could bring it to Da Shun. Thinking about it like this, the Lu family and Gu Shu have a pretty tight connection to Gu Shu. Otherwise, how could the seventh princess bring a venomous bug and give it to Lu Yao?” She took a bite out of an apple before shaking her head to refute the idea after some thought, “Not necessarily. If Lu Yao said that she wanted to use that bug to harm me, perhaps the princess of Gu Shu really might give it to her.”
Xuan Tian Ming heard this and helplessly said: “It turned out that everyone in the world is your enemy! But even if the Lu family does not have any direct contact with Gu Shu, their relationship with Old Eighth is definitely close. Thinking about it, their only remaining daughter was the one being kept for Old Eighth.”
“That’s only natural.” Xuan Tian Hua also spoke up: “The Lu family came to have a very important talk with Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu. No matter what, this path cannot be avoided, but just let them continue mucking about. Sooner or later, Old Eighth will end up causing a stir. We just don’t know how much he has set things up. How much energy will we need to face off with him. As for Gu Shu’s seventh princess, Da Shun should not be planning to take care of her directly. She will most likely be sent back to Gu Shu, and the person escorting her…”
“I’ll go.” Xuan Tian Ming coldly said: “I will head South and treat it as scouting ahead.”
“You’re going to the South so soon?” Feng Yu Heng was startled and could no longer eat fruits while leaning back in her chair. She leaned forward and anxiously asked Xuan Tian Ming, “Didn’t you say that you’re only leaving after the new year? Why have you suddenly changed your mind? In such a rush?”
Xuan Tian Ming reached out to pat her head, “It’s not like I won’t be coming back. I’ll just be sending the seventh princess of Gu Shu back. At the very latest, I will be back before the end of the year. During this banquet, you also saw that none of the people from the South are peaceful. Where in their eyes does the court exist, or even the Emperor? With so many coming to the capital, they simply wanted to take a look at the current situation in the capital, but A-Heng’s decision this time was quite good. With the Feng family and Yao family causing such a stir, it should have caused them to become confused. At the very least, after they’ve returned, their reports for Imperial Daughter Ji An will have quite a bit of artistic freedom.
“I’m quite famous in their little group?” Feng Yu Heng rubbed her nose and put in a good word for herself, “Since you aren’t going to fight and are only going to be escorting a criminal, how about you bring me along?”
Xuan Tian Ming shook his head, “With you setting up this scenario in the capital and leaving at the drop of a hat, are you not afraid that those with bad intentions will try to stir the pot? It’s inevitable that there will be a few attempts. If you leave, you may feel at ease while not seeing it, but the result will be far different from if you kept an eye on things. You finally managed to set up this scenario. You absolutely must not allow it to lose its efficacy. Be good. I will do my best to rush back. Trust me.”
What else could Feng Yu Heng say. Resentfully sitting back down, she carried on eating fruit.
As the few had expected, the court announced the next day that Gu Shu’s seventh princess would immediately be escorted back to her own country, with the ninth prince, Xuan Tian Ming, personally sending her back. And because Lu Yao had committed a crime, Lu Song had to forfeit three years of salary to serve as a lesson. In regards to this, Lu Song expressed that he accepted.
Xuan Tian Ming going to the South caused the officials from the South to begin speculating. They could not understand why an important general like the ninth prince would be mobilized for escorting the princess of Gu Shu? There were even more that asked around a bit about whether or not Xuan Tian Ming’s soldiers had been mobilized. However, there were none that knew. On the night before Xuan Tian Ming set out, he met up with General Ping Nan in secret. General Ping Nan handed him a piece of jade that would act as a token to apologize to those troops that had been left behind in the South.
The next day, Xuan Tian Ming set out, and Feng Yu Heng went with him to the city’s southern gate.
Gu Shu’s seventh princess sat in a carriage. Although the carriage could not be considered luxurious, it was quite comfortable. After all, she was the princess of a country. Da Shun did not heavily criticize her; however, it also did not provide her with great treatment. At this moment, Feng Yu Heng and Xuan Tian Ming continued to walk side-by-side at the front of the group. Bai Ze led the horses, and when they stopped outside the city’s gate, the princess of Gu Shu called out from the back: “Imperial Daughter Ji An!”
Feng Yu Heng looked back but replied with a laugh: “Princess, if you have something to say, please speak.”
The princess of Gu Shu had the carriage driver move a bit further forward. She sat at the side of the carriage and said to Feng Yu Heng: “Having your future husband send this princess back to my country, are you not afraid that he will eat me up?” The foreign girl had always been extroverted. While speaking, her eyes were filled with a provocative look. The words were spoken to Feng Yu Heng, but her eyes were looking at Xuan Tian Ming.
Unfortunately, Xuan Tian Ming’s brain just would not work very well in certain situations. For example, when it came to women, aside from Feng Yu Heng, the people that he would pay a bit more attention to could be counted on two fingers. Those would be Imperial Concubine Yun and Xuan Tian Ge. The seventh princess’ bold provocation to him was not much different from looking at a man, which caused the seventh princess to feel very bored.
Feng Yu Heng laughed so much that her belly hurt. She then asked the seventh princess: “You don’t feel that you should consider the matter of your own safety? Seventh princess, don’t blame me for not reminding you that my future husband is very capricious. When he’s happy, he might be able to safely bring you back to the South, but if he is unhappy, he might just set fire to your carriage. It’s also possible that he will just throw you off of a cliff. It’s also possible that he will use his whip to ruin your face. Seventh princess, I am not scaring you. This is the truth.”
Bai Ze laughed upon hearing this, “Princess is too appalling. How could our prince be that vicious? At most, he would let that venomous bug feed on Her Highness the Seventh Princess. My Lord, am I right?”
Xuan Tian Ming sneered, “We’ll see based on my mood.”
The seventh princess of Gu Shu could not stop herself from trembling. During the middle of Autumn, this was her first time feeling so cold. “You two have been flirting the entire time. Is there any end in sight? Quickly get going. This princess wishes to return to Gu Shu.” After she finished speaking, she lowered the curtain and retreated inside the carriage, no longer wanting to speak to the two.
But Xuan Tian Ming raised his voice and said: “What’s the rush? You came to the capital without Da Shun having any say, thus you will not have a say in leaving the capital.” He then ignored the carriage and pulled Feng Yu Heng a few steps forward. He gently embraced her. It was as if he was bidding farewell to his sweetheart, yet nobody knew that Xuan Tian Ming said to Feng Yu Heng: “The Lu family’s business is necessary for their communication with the South. By cutting off their businesses, it would cut off their lifeline.”
Feng Yu Heng faintly smiled, “Don’t worry. Before you get back, everything will be taken care of cleanly. I will wait for you in the capital, so come back quickly.”
Finally, Xuan Tian Ming’s group slowly moved further and further away. Wang Chuan and Huang Quan stayed at Feng Yu Heng’s side before returning to the manor. From that moment onward, officials from out of the province began to leave the capital, including the prefect of Lan Zhou and the prefect of Luo Province.
Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu held a letter in her hand, while the maidservant Yue Xiu brought her an edible bird’s nest. “Imperial Concubine, have some while it’s warm. That letter can be read later.”
Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu smiled and tossed the letter to the side. Receiving the bird nest, she began to eat, but she told Yue Xiu: “This One has already finished reading it. The prefect of Lan Zhou, Ji Ling Tian, not only left behind the Ji family’s intentions, but he also left a banknote worth a large sum. He said that he would fully support His Highness the Eighth Prince. This support is quite understandable. At the very least, it’s much better than the Lu family’s empty words.”
Yue Xiu’s face did not show much expression. She just asked: “Lan Zhou is the last province in the South. If they don’t rely on His Highness the Eighth Prince, there’s nothing that they can do. Does Imperial Concubine believe that he will fully support His Highness? This servant was thinking that those officials are all wily old foxes and are very hard to control.”
“That’s right.” Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu sneered, “The word fully is easy to say, but it’s hard to do. They call the southern border their home. Over there, Mo’er has done some great things in the South. It’s natural that they will enjoy it and feel a bit friendly. But if we’re talking about their true feelings, as This One sees sit, there do not appear to be many. Isn’t Old Ninth heading toward the South? Over the past few days, This One’s eyelid has been twitching the entire time. There’s this lingering feeling that old ninth going over will not be a good thing. Who knows how much trouble he will cause for Mo’er. As for the officials of the South, once they see a prince with more fame than Mo’er while also having rights to command troops, if old ninth takes another step forward and establishes a foundation in the desert of the South, say, will they turn their backs or not?”
Yue Xiu thought for a bit then nodded then said: “Imperial Concubine is right. There is indeed such a possibility, but we can’t just watch His Highness the ninth prince head to the South to snatch a piece of the pie. Some preparations need to be made.”
“That’s right!” Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu sighed, “But what sort of preparations?”
“Imperial Concubine.” Yue Xiu took a couple steps forward and bowed, lowering her voice to say: “His Highness still has not taken an official princess. Even a proper secondary princess and concubines do not exist. I heard that there are just a few servants that he will sleep with, but they can’t be brought onto the main stage. The Lu family wishes to marry their daughter of the first wife to His Highness the Eighth Prince, but that is something that will happen after his return to the capital. In the South right now, how about Imperial Concubine tells His Highness that there is no need to establish an official princess, but taking in some secondary princesses is also fine. For example, the family of Lan Zhou’s prefect or the family of Luo Province’s prefect, they should have a few daughters of concubines, right? For the daughter of a concubine to be able to become a secondary princess for a prince is also a pretty good outcome.”
Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu nodded, “Indeed, this is a good idea. Mo’er has not taken in an official princess over the years and has never even brought it up. This One will use this opportunity to ask him. What exactly are his intentions? There’s also that Fu Ya outside the palace. Yue Xiu, immediately go and find the best artist. This One will have that Fu Ya come into the palace to sit for a while. During that time, let’s have the artist paint an image of her. When that time comes, I will send it to Mo’er to see what he thinks.”
“Word is that Imperial Daughter Ji An has cut ties with Madam Yao, the Yao family and the Feng family.”
“Who knows.” Imperial Concubine Yuan Shu furrowed her brow and thought for a bit, “In a few days, ask around. Perhaps something really has happened. We should adjust our direction and not do pointless things.”
After the middle of Autumn passed, the days gradually became colder. Along with the days, Feng Yu Heng’s treatment toward her loved ones became colder and colder, especially the Yao family. She walled herself off even more, as they were totally isolated from one another. There were even people that had seen the Yao family’s servants secretly splashing dirty water at the entrance of the imperial daughter’s manor.
For a while, Imperial Daughter Ji An severing ties from her relatives was a matter that had become reality.
At the same time, the Yao family was unable to contain its anger over Lu Yao dragging Xu shi into the water. They unleashed a torrent of revenge on the Lu family that was kicked off by Yao Xian and Yao Jing Jun…