No Zuo No Die1
When Feng Chen Yu finally heard that the seventh prince, Xuan Tian Hua, would also be attending Princess Ding An’s birthday banquet, she shyly agreed to also head over to Ding An palace.
Her coy expression did not escape Feng Yu Heng’s eyes. Thinking of Xuan Tian Hua’s carefree appearance, it did not fit with Feng Chen Yu no matter what.
Who was attending the birthday banquet was finally set. Because of this banquet, Feng Yu Heng recalled what Xuan Tian Ge had mentioned at the temple about a Mid-Autumn banquet. She called Wang Chuan: “Go take a look at the fabrics gifted by Xuan Tian Ming. See which one is suitable for Autumn and prepare a set of clothes to wear for Mid-Autumn.”
Wang Chuan saw that Feng Yu Heng finally remembered to make use of the those materials and let out a sigh of relief: “Young miss, if you still did not use those materials, then this servant would have to remind you.”
“Why?” Feng Yu Heng was puzzled, “Aren’t they all very expensive fabrics? I really could not bring myself to use them.”
Wang Chuan told her: “No matter how expensive they are, that’s only for other people. Under the heavens, there is nothing that his Highness wants but can not get. Since his Highness has given these nice things to youg miss, he is naturally hoping that young miss will use them and wear them. What must not be done is leaving it unused. Young miss, do not worry and just wear them. After you have used up all the fabric, his Highness can get more.”
Feng Yu Heng nodded, “Alright, I have looked at those fabrics and found that they are indeed very pretty. Then just pick one that can be made to suit Autumn and make two sets. Oh right, do not forget to leave enough to make two handkerchiefs. I promised to give them to Xiang Rong and Fen Dai.”
Wang Chuan reminded Feng Yu Heng: “Young miss, you also promised third young miss a pair of shoes. You said it would be for when she married out of the family.”
Feng Yu Heng had not forgotten this, “She is only ten years old. It is a long time before she marries out of the family. Making it now is a waste, as her feet will have grown by the time she is fifteen, and she will no longer be able to wear them. How about this, pick out a fabric that suits Xiang Rong’s age and make her a set of clothing.”
Wang Chuan did not feel distressed. Either way, the ninth prince had a way of obtaining these things. If the young miss wanted to give it away as a gift, then do not hesitate to gift it away. In the end, she was still a twelve year old child. In this oppressive Feng manor, having a playmate was good.
“For the birthday celebration in three days at Ding An palace, does young miss wish to prepare a present?” Wang Chuan was very meticulous.
Feng Yu Heng, however, shook her head, “These things will all be prepared by the Feng family. We do not need to worry about it.” Thinking a little, she added: “Of the things I have here, there is not a single one I am willing to gift to outsiders.”
Wang Chuan also thought this way. The Ding An family’s imperial daughter Qing Le was not some good girl. Just based on how she already knew that the ninth prince was engaged to Feng family’s second young miss, yet she still brazenly asked her father to request the Emperor give her as the bride. It was clear just how brazen this girl was. Now, her family’s young miss would not give her face, and that was a must too.
Early in the morning three days later, the matriarch arranged for the newly made clothes to be sent to their respective courtyards.
Feng Yu Heng looked at the five sets of Autumn clothing and nodded with satisfaction, “It seems the matriarch put in some of her own money. If Chen shi were still here, who knows what kind of poor-quality fabric would be used to mess with me.”
Wang Chuan helped her choose her clothing and said: “The matriarch has already lived to such an age, after all. She is able to tell what is important and what is not. She can’t be like Chen shi and eat a huge loss for the sake of saving a little.”
The two went back and forth while choosing, before selecting a set of sky blue clothes. The thin brocade fabric was perfectly suited for just entering Autumn.
She then picked some accessories that suited the clothes from the jewelry gifted by Xuan Tian Ming. Feng Yu Heng let Wang Chuan give her an appropriate hairstyle before adding an orchid flower hairpin. Her entire person seemed very pure and easy on the eyes.
It was the problem of makeup that caused a little trouble. Feng Yu Heng was not too accustomed to the ancient cosmetics. She always felt that applying it would make her look like a fake person, but attending a banquet, she could not go without makeup.”
She pondered a little and dismissed Wang Chuan. She then sneaked into her space and pulled out a makeup kit from a drawer. From the kit, she poured some primer, she then poured some CC cream. Only after she finished applying powder and some faint blush did she leave the space.
As for the other makeup, Feng Yu Heng very rarely used them. Furthermore, in her eyes, a twelve year old’s skin was very good after just a little care. There was no need to do any special decorating. If she used too much, she would look sophisticated for her age and would lose her natural look.
Although this was the case, when Feng Yu Heng came out of the room, she allowed Wang Chuan to witness her beauty. She did not understand what her young miss had used to take care of her face. Why it looked like there was no makeup, yet she definitely looked more refined than before.
Wang Chuan endured the curiosity and did not ask. The longer she followed Feng Yu Heng, the more she found that there were many things that she could not understand. Her family’s young miss could always pull out odd things, especially medicines. The medical pills that were sent to Hundred Herb Hall could apparently be dissolved in hot water and had a sweet taste. Previously, she had never heard of this. Either way, no matter what it was, second young miss always said that she learned it from the Persian eccentric. Slowly, Wang Chuan began attributing every odd happening to that Persian eccentric.
Feng Yu Heng had taken care of everything properly and was preparing to depart with Wang Chuan. Just as she reached the moon gate between Tong Sheng pavilion and the Feng manor, she saw Xiang Rong walking in her direction.
The Feng family had given this child a set of orange Autumn clothes. With a similarly colored belt, it made her waistline very noticeable.
Seeing Feng Yu Heng coming out, Xiang Rong was very happy. Quickly moving a couple steps, she greeted her: “Second sister! Xiang Rong was just about to look for you.”
Feng Yu Heng smiled and pulled Xiang Rong’s hand: “Third sister, these clothes are not bad.”
Xiang Rong was a little embarrassed, saying: “This is all from sponging off of second sister’s brilliance. If it weren’t for second sister speaking up for Xiang Rong before grandmother, I fear grandmother would not make these clothes for Xiang Rong.”
Feng Yu Heng patted the back of her hand and comforted her: “It’s fine. You will only be with your maternal family for a few years. Bear with it for the time being. The good days have yet to come.” As she spoke, she asked Wang Chuan: “The fabric from his Highness that I said to use, is there a tailor to handle it?”
Wang Chuan quickly said: “When young miss returns from Ding An palace, the personal tailor of Prince Yu’s palace will come to take your measurements. This servant has chosen Commoner’s brocade as the fabric. The result will perfect suit the season. Young miss can wear it immediately.” As she said this, she looked at Xiang Rong and said: “Second young miss told us that there is enough remaining fabric to make third young miss and fourth young miss a handkerchief. Also, this servant selected a bolt of refined cloud silk expressly to make third young miss a set of Autumn clothing. When the tailor comes, we must invite third young miss to Tong Sheng pavilion, so you can be measured.”
Xiang Rong felt her mind go blank. Refined cloud silk? That is one of the five national treasures!
“Second sister.” She was both scared and happy, “Is second sister saying it will be given to me to make a set of clothing?”
Feng Yu Heng nodded, “That’s right.”
“No no no!” Although she liked the fabric very much, Xiang Rong still felt it was too wasteful, “Xiang Rong knows how precious and expensive the five treasures are. Second sister being able to leave enough fabric to make Xiang Rong a handkerchief is already enough to Xiang Rong very grateful. In the future, no matter who Xiang Rong marries, with this sort of item, I will always have dignity. Xiang Rong does not dare ask for such good clothing. It’s a huge waste of fabric.”
Feng Yu Heng sighed, “Xiang Rong, you are my younger sister. Although we do not come from the same mother’s belly, concubine mother An sneakily placed some money in Zi Rui’s collar when we left the manor three years ago. Big sister has accepted this favor.”
Xiang Rong still had some objections, “How can a handful of change compare to a national treasure. Second sister, Xiang Rong does not want it. Keep it and make some more beautiful clothing. In the future, when you have married Prince Yu, you will look even better.”
Hearing these words, Wang Chuan laughed, “Third young miss, you really worry too much. Our second young miss still has not gotten married, yet his Highness Prince Yu still sent this much stuff over. You still worry that second young miss would suffer bullying after getting married? Furthermore, his Highness Prince Yu is the ninth prince. His father Emperor and imperial concubine mother are both in the imperial palace. Once second young miss goes over, she will be the head madam of the manor. She will not need to worry about seeing her father-in-law or mother-in-law’s expressions. Below her, his Highness has not taken in any concubines or maids, so second young miss is the only one with any say in that palace.”
Wang Chuan’s words were said for both Xiang Rong and Feng Yu Heng to heard. The ninth prince was a clean person and definitely did not have a hobby of raising girls.
Xiang Rong was very smart and immediately understood Wang Chuan’s intention. Smiling, she looked at Feng Yu Heng and sighed: “Second sister really is fortunate.”
Feng Yu Heng also smiled a smile that could not be controlled. But her mouth was still unforgiving: “Even if he raised some concubines, I will kick them out one by one!”
Wang Chuan and Xiang Rong both laughed for a while. Under Feng Yu Heng’s insistence, Xiang Rong no longer spoke words of refusal. Instead she hurriedly said to Feng Yu Heng: “Although Xiang Rong is very quiet and is of no help to second sister at home, if second sister has a use for Xiang Rong, even if it is manual labor, Xiang Rong is willing to do it.”
Feng Yu Heng laughed at her silliness. In the end, she was a daughter of the family, how could she be allowed to do manual labor. But toward Xiang Rong, Feng Yu Heng truly felt this child was very smart. Being left to grow in the manor was too much of a waste. If there was an opportunity, she had to take her out to see the world.
The small group chatted and walked before arriving at the gate to Feng manor. When they arrived, Feng Chen Yu had also just come out of her courtyard.
Two carriages could be heard outside. One was a normal carriage and the other was made with red sandalwood. Xiang Rong quietly explained to Feng Yu Heng: “That is eldest sister’s personal use carriage. Previously, when we went to the temple, father wanted to keep it low key, so she did not take it.”
Feng Yu Heng nodded. She had heard that Chen shi had given Chen Yu and Zi Hao prepared personal carriages, but it was simply the first time she had seen it. As expected, this high-end atmosphere and grade was not something that she and Xiang Rong could compete with.
Looking again at Chen Yu, she wore a bright pink flowery dress with a similar colored gauze covering. Her collar opening was not small, as the curve of her neck and collarbones were clearly visible. Her figure was beautiful and her skin a delicate white. The Chinese dress was very long and came all the way to the ground and and a train2 dragged an extra three feet behind her. This made Feng Chen Yu’s gait even more graceful. Her beautiful hair was not tied in a bun, instead she simply used a hairband and lightly combed it, leaving it to rest on her chest. With the exquisite makeup applied to her face, her entire person seemed like a butterfly Empress, which was a dazzling sight for all to behold.
But this sort of getup, no matter how one looked at it, did not seem like it was to attend someone else’s birthday banquet. Instead, it looked like she was the main focus of the banquet. Especially the color of the clothes and the train. It did indeed look good, but it still made people feel it was a little inconsistent with her age and background. If it were a young imperial concubine that wore this, then it really would be applauded by others.
Feng Yu Heng glanced at Chen Yu and thought to herself: “Serves you right for doing something so stupid.”1 Feng Chen Yu took all of her ambition and wore it on her body. She really was very forward. What sort of expression would Princess Ding An and imperial daughter Qing Le have when they saw Chen Yu’s appearance.
1: It’s apparently a popular internet term used to describe looking for trouble then losing out.
2: The part of a dress that drags behind the person. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Train_(clothing)