Precisely Who Is Married, Choose for Yourself
Feng Yu Heng brought up the marriage once more, scaring Noble Lady Yuan into casting the thoughts of her title to the back of her mind. Staring straight at the Emperor, she hoped that he would shake his head and say that he would not permit it.
Unfortunately, things did not go as she had hoped. Not only did the Emperor not shake his head, but he even nodded and went with what Feng Yu Heng had said: “We have thought about this marriage today. Although he does not have much of an impression of the Lu family’s daughter, Mo’er has been stationed at the border. Someone that he has chosen for himself, it would not be good for Us to go against his intention. This marriage will be decided like this. When Mo’er comes back to court for the new year. We will personally sanction the marriage.”
Once these words came out, the Lu family did not say anything and immediately stepped forward to kneel on the ground. They immediately kowtowed and gave thanks for his grace. Lu Song then said: “This official gives thanks for the imperial decree and will work even harder from this day forward to be loyal to Da Shun and help share Your Majesty’s burdens.”
The Emperor nodded and did not say anything else. His gaze, however, landed on Lu Yan and looked for a long time. Lu Yan had kept her head lowered the entire time and did not know that she was being sized up by the Emperor, but Lu Song had raised his head when speaking and saw this clearly. He could not help but feel his heart move into his throat. He silently hoped that his daughter would be put in a good showing at a time like this and not make any sort of mistake at a critical juncture like this. If the Emperor was somehow offended and made unhappy, this marriage would be canceled, and the Lu family would have celebrated for nothing.
Fortunately, Lu Yan could be considered competent and continued to kneel silently, not causing any problems. But on the other side, Noble Lady Yuan finally had her collapse, as she loudly shouted: “No!” She then desperately crawled forward. Just as she was about to reach the Emperor’s feet, Zhang Yuan gave a look to have palace servants immediately step forward to carry her back. Noble Lady Yuan cried loudly in anguish. While crying, she loudly screamed: “Your Majesty, Your Majesty, you can’t agree to it! How can the daughter of the Lu family be worthy of our Mo’er! Your Majesty, please think it over!”
Her pleas did not receive even the slightest bit of sympathy from the Emperor. The Emperor even looked at Noble Lady Yuan in a strange manner and asked: “Was this not exactly as you hoped? We have now supported you in this, so why are you asking for Us to think it over?”
Noble Lady Yuan froze in place. When had she ever hoped to become joined with the Lu family? How could today’s matter be supporting her son?
Before she could think it through, Feng Yu Heng spoke up, saying to her: “The young miss of the prime minister’s manor is already quite good for a noble lady’s son. Noble Lady Yuan, what is there to not be satisfied with?”
Noble Lady Yuan fiercely stared at her and angrily said: “This is all because of you! It’s all because of you! Although I was recently demoted to noble lady, you must not forget that my son is the eighth prince. He is Prince Sheng and is a general that has been protecting the border. He has a high standing and influence. How could a lowly prime minister’s manor be worthy?”
Feng Yu Heng shook her head, “Noble Lady keeps looking down on others while having an inflated sense of self. Earlier, you said that I was a lowly imperial daughter, and now you’re saying that the Lu family is a lowly prime minister’s manor. Then in the noble lady’s eyes, what sort of person is as venerable as you? The current left prime minister is a standard first rank official. If this sort of family is considered lowly, what sort of girl are you wanting His Highness the Eighth Prince to marry? In the current Da Shun, among the girls around this age aside from this imperial daughter and Palace Princess Tian Ge, the daughter of a standard first rank official’s family should be the most venerable, right? If this is still not enough to satisfy you, then the only one that would be worthy of His Highness the Eighth Prince would be the princess of another country.” As she spoke, she suddenly came to an understanding and rushed to say: “Thinking back to the day of the Mid-Autumn Festival, Noble Lady and the seventh princess of Gu Shu seemed to be very close. Could it be that Noble Lady has taken an interest in that seventh princess? If it’s like that, A-Heng will help you ask Father Emperor for this.”
At this time, Noble Lady Yuan’s mind was a mess. She was completely unable to think, and her thoughts were completely dragged around by Feng Yu heng. Whatever she spoke out, she would follow. Now that she heard Feng Yu Heng bring up the seventh princess of Gu Shu, intuition told her that this would be better than the Lu family, thus she unexpectedly nodded and heard Feng Yu Heng say: “Has Noble Lady thought it through clearly?”
How could Noble Lady Yuan still have the energy to think, as she subconsciously nodded; however, she heard everyone present inhale sharply. Even the imperial concubines present looked at her, helplessly shaking their heads. It was as though they were looking at a hopeless person. She was puzzled and looked at Feng Yu Heng blankly, asking: “Did you not say that you would help and ask His Majesty? Why are you still not saying it?”
Someone down below was finally unable to stay still, but they still did not dare say anything. They just quietly muttered to themselves. But Lu Song, who was kneeling to the side, was more anxious than anyone else, as he loudly shouted: “Noble lady! I, Lu Song, am a standard first rank official. Why do you detest my daughter so much? Why is it that she is not worthy of His Highness the Eighth Prince? Is it such that Noble Lady would rather ruin His Highness the Eighth Prince’s chance at the throne by marrying a foreign princess than letting His Highness marry my daughter?”
Lu Song’s words were like a flash of light, that left a huge impression on Noble Lady Yuan, and even her servant, Yue Xiu, could not endure and quietly reminded her: “Noble lady, according to Da Shun’s rules, once a prince marries a foreign princess, from that day forward, they will give up their right to the throne!”
Noble Lady Yuan was immediately jolted back to her senses. She had fallen for Feng Yu Heng’s trick, and she nearly passed out from anger. She glared at Feng Yu Heng, with fire shooting from her eyes, but what could she do aside from glare?
Feng Yu Heng curled up the corners of her lips and asked: “Does the noble lady really want for His Highness the Eighth Prince to marry the princess from Gu Shu?”
Noble Lady Yuan gritted her teeth, “Naturally, I do not.”
“Then the marriage to the Lu family…”
“If His Majesty has sanctioned the marriage, where is there any reasoning in refusing.”
“That’s more like it!” Feng Yu Heng said with a smile, “Since ancient times, the mother has depended on their sons for glory, but you must not forget that the child finds happiness from their mother! Noble Lady Yuan should be thinking about whether or not her demotion will bring about unhappiness to His Highness the Eighth Prince. Also, you should be thinking clearly about whether or not you can get this marriage with the Lu family. After all, the present cannot be compared to the past.”
Everyone facepalmed. How was this the present can’t be compared to the past? This was clearly this instant could not be compared to a moment earlier! In the blink of an eye, Imperial Concubine Shu had been demoted in such a crazy manner, yet it had truly happened. It really was… fortune meddling with people!
Seeing that Noble Lady Yuan had no further intention of refusing, the Lu family gave their thanks once more; however, Lu Yan summoned some courage to look at Feng Yu Heng. She kept thinking that if Imperial Daughter Ji An helped out to such a degree, could it be that she had decided to agree to the things that they had spoken about in the morning?
In just this bit of time, a prince’s marriage had been settled. Before the people could even react, this matter had already been handled. The officials that had been standing on the eighth prince’s side had to accept this reality. After thinking a bit, in any case, Lu Song was the current left prime minister, and this could not be considered too much of a loss. It would be better than marrying the princess of a foreign country. Thus they all stood up and congratulated Noble Lady Yuan, which left her so angry that she wanted to act out on the spot and send all of these people away.
After another stick of incense in time, the princes and men began to return. Palace servants immediately went forward to begin tallying the total number of beasts hunted by each person.
Very quickly, the results came back. The fourth prince, Xuan Tian Yi, had obtained the lead position with 26. In second was the second prince, with 18. The fifth prince had eleven, and the eldest prince was rather mediocre with only six, but everyone knew that the eldest prince was not proficient at this sort of thing. He was a prince that focused on business, and he existed for the sake of earning money for Da Shun. He was endlessly filling Da Shun’s coffers. Furthermore, the eldest prince had always treated people kindly and created some more interactions with people through business, thus nobody would look down on him because of a simple hunt.
Speaking of, the people were quite happy that their sons were all quite competent, with none of them truly competing with the princes. Each of them only caught a few to make do and put on appearances. That much was enough.
As for the seventh prince, Xuan Tian Hua, the palace servants behind him were empty-handed. Not a single beast was brought back. Xuan Tian Hua also stood there in his white robes, and there was not a single trace of having gone hunting. He also was not panting heavily like the others. He stood as he ought to, and it looked as though he had not set foot on the hunting ground. He looked as if he had just sat to the side while sipping tea. In an instant, the madams and young misses that had come along were staring, with some young misses even wiping away tears and quietly discussing with their mothers, could they also think of some method to be like the Lu family and have a marriage with the seventh prince?
However, everyone wanted to marry Xuan Tian Hua, yet everyone knew that Xuan Tian Hua was the hardest prince to court. Even the ninth prince, who everyone had thought would be the hardest, had now been conquered by Feng Yu Heng, yet the seventh prince was like a deity that would not be dyed in the colors of this world. He would only let them look.
Seeing Xuan Tian Hua without any results, nobody was truly surprised. This included the Emperor, as he did not think much of it. After all, they had too much experience. In the past, Xuan Tian Hua very rarely participated in this sort of hunt, and in the few times that he did go, he mostly stayed at the viewing platform to drink tea. Later on, he went to the hunting ground a couple times. On the first time, he caught over 20 small animals alive. The second time, he simply brought some arrows that did not have arrowheads but had their tips dipped in dye. As for the animals that the other princes had brought back, they had all been hit by his arrows first, and the scene was very awkward.
But who did not know about Xuan Tian Hua’s personality? Everyone had already become accustomed to him not touching blood. Regardless of whether the blood was from a human or a beast, he would not touch such a thing. He just wanted to do things like this, and the Emperor did not care, thus what could anyone else do?
As the people were thinking about it, it seemed that the seventh prince simply did not do anything this time. He just rode his horse onto the hunting ground and waited for time to pass.
In the end, it was the Emperor that broke the silence, asking Xuan Tian Hua: “Hua’er, were there any results from this hunting trip? Or some insight?”
Xuan Tian Hua faintly smiled and saluted to the Emperor then nodded, “Son also had some results.”
“Oh?” The Emperor became interested, “What sort of result did you obtain?”
Xuan Tian Hua said: “Since it was a hunt, son’s result is naturally from hunting.”
When everyone heard this, they became interested. Could it be that His Highness the seventh prince had struck down some small beasts? Had also killed the living? Or had seen blood?
Who knew that the palace servant following behind Xuan Tian Hua loudly reported: “This outing by His Highness the Seventh Prince, he successfully let 28 animals go!”