Something Happened at Court
Han shi giggled again, “Indeed, he went to court before the sun rose. Originally, he thought he would not be able to return until noon, but who knew he would return around this time.”
An shi stood to the side and felt that remaining silent for much longer would not be good, “The Lord has gone to change his clothes. He heard that we have all come to pay respects to mother-in-law, so he told us to wait for him here. He will be coming over in a little while.”
The matriarch furrowed her brows upon hearing this news, “I worry that something may have happened at court.”
Chen yi sat back down in to her chair, her handkerchief shaking slightly in her hand. She downed half a cup of tea that the maidservant had brought before speaking, “Even if something has happened, it’s none of us women’s problems. My Lord will surely be coming to pay respects to mother-in-law.”
There was nothing wrong with what was said. No matter how big a problem was at court, it had nothing to do with the women of the courtyard.
But the matriarch could vaguely feel that Feng Jin Yuan coming to Shu Ya courtyard would not be for something as simple as paying respects.
She turned her view towards Feng Yu Heng. In her heart, she felt it was around 70-80 percent likely the trouble was to do with that girl. Add on the sudden change in decision to allow them to remain at the manor. They would eventually need to explain this to everyone.
Not too long later, a freshly-changed Feng Jin Yuan entered.
He first paid his respects to the matriarch, then he took his seat next to Chen shi. A maidservant brought him a cup of tea, but he only took a small sip. As expected, his gaze fell upon Feng Yu Heng.
Feng Yu Heng suddenly became quite nervous. This nervousness was not caused by Feng Jin Yuan, but it was that she had guessed what the other would say. She was one hundred percent certain it would be about the ninth prince.
Although she learned that something had happened to him last night, she had not received any further updates to this news. This in addition to an early morning court gather meant something else may have happened.
She was faintly worried and began to struggle to find the source of this worry. She pondered it a little while, when suddenly, a thought popped in to her mind as she was worrying… That person wouldn’t want to cancel the engagement right?
Now, Feng Jin Yuan began to speak: “It’s good that A-Heng is already here. There is a matter that father will talk about, but A-Heng do not feel too sad.”
Feng Yu Heng stared at Feng Jin Yuan, her gaze did not hide that she watched his mouth open and close. She was so visibly nervous that it even showed in her eyes.
But there was not a person who had any reaction to this. In fact, this was the expression a girl who had a fiance should have. Or, as everyone thought, this type of Feng Yu Heng was more normal. Only this conformed to their expectations.
Feng Jin Yuan was sick of being stared at and raised his hand. He finally began to speak about the matter at hand: “During this morning’s court session, there was a petition among the officials to announce the crown prince, but it was rejected by the Emperor.”
The matriarch sincerely asked: “Wasn’t it said that the ninth prince would become crown prince after returning? The ninth prince returned yesterday, so why has the Emperor, not only remained passive, but has rejected the petition by the officials?”
“Ah!” Feng Jin Yuan let out a long sigh: “This matter, your son has also only just learned. Originally the ninth prince had repelled the enemy army and secured the land, but he himself suffered grave injuries.”
Everyone was immediately shocked.
The matriarch continued to ask: “Injured to what degree?”
Feng Jin Yuan looked at Feng Yu Heng and spoke: “Both legs are worthless, his face has been ruined, in terms of having an heir… it is hopeless.”
The room was filled with loud exclamations.
Chen shi pulled Feng Chen Yu’s hand, her face visibly worried. Then she let out a long sigh and spoke: “It’s not bad. Not bad.”
The matriarch stared at her and banged her cane on the ground a few times. Chen shi at least understood restraint. She pulled Feng Chen Yu close and whispered softly in to her ear: “No wonder your father allowed them to stay yesterday. He must have heard about this news yesterday.”
Chen Yu nodded and spoke softly: “Father still loves Chen Yu.”
Chen shi was very pleased with how Feng Jin Yuan had acted this time. This was the first time she expressed agreement with allowing Yao shi to stay at the manor.
Feng Jin Yuan finished speaking and looked towards Feng Yu Heng. Seeing that the girl did not have much of a reaction and was still standing there foolishly staring at him, he could not help but frown: “A-Heng?”
Feng Yu Heng was startled, “Hm?”
“Do not be sad.” He did not truly love this daughter. The words of comfort that he spoke were superficial.
Feng Yu Heng blinked her eyes and asked: “Father, you said that there was something I should not be too sad about. Was that it?”
Feng Jin Yuan was puzzled, “If not this then what?”
Feng Yu Heng shook her head, “Nothing.” She secretly let out a sigh.
The people thought that she could not handle this news in such a short period of time. Being stunned in such a situation was normal. Third concubine mother An shi walked over and patted her on the shoulder to comfort her and whispered: “A-Heng don’t worry. Each person has their own life. You still won’t become of marriageable age for three more years. There’s no rush.”
Feng Chen Yu also went over, her face looking like that of Guanyin1 and spoke consolingly: “Second sister, don’t be too sad. Although his body is now crippled, but in the end, he is still a prince. The treatment will not be unfair to second sister.”
The matriarch expressed her position on the matter: “You are all my granddaughters and I will not show any favoritism. As it stands, A-Heng, the man you will marry has had an accident; however, the Feng family will forever be your maiden family. We will prepare an extra dowry for your marriage.” While she spoke, she looked at Chen shi.
Hearing that she would need to prepare extra dowry, Chen shi immediately wanted to rip out her hair, but Feng Jin Yuan coughed loudly and repressed her anger.
“Daughter-in-law will do the same.” She must be feeling very reluctant.
Fen Dai laughed. So what if she’d been the daughter of the first wife? So what if she was engaged to the prince? In the end, she may have been better off marrying a personal of normal royal heritage. It was good that they were a normal person. The ninth prince would no longer have hope of conceiving a child. In the future, what prospects would there be? There were none who supported him inheriting the throne. But thinking that there would be an extra dowry, her mood quickly declined again.
Feng Xiang Rong was sad for Feng Yu Heng, as she wiped some tears from her face.
But just when people thought that she had acted normally, her stunned appearance from hearing the sudden news of an unfortunate accident faded slightly. Feng Yu Heng was revived and full of vigor. They heard her speak: “Grandmother, why is there a need to prepare A-Heng an extra dowry?”
The matriarch wondered to herself if her granddaughter was an idiot. Her priority was still to console her: “You are a daughter of the Feng family. Getting married to that sort of… Grandmother is worried that your days will be difficult and full of hardships. Considering this, I want to prepare you some extra.”
Feng Yu Heng bowed: “Grandmother’s good will, A-Heng understands it, but grandmother has forgotten. A-Heng is the Feng family’s daughter and the ninth prince is the Emperor’s son. The Feng manor is always thinking of taking care of their daughters, how could the Emperor not remember to take good care of his son!”
Hearing this, Chen shi immediately nodded and agreed: “That’s right, that’s right! Mother-in-law truly worries too much. How could our Feng family compare to the royal family.” For Chen shi, spending the manor’s money was like spending her own money. Preparing an extra dowry may sound easy, but it would be very costly. On what basis should she benefit Feng Yu Heng?
But Feng Yu Heng apparently did not find her idea satisfactory. As soon as Chen shi finished speaking, she turned to the matriarch and spoke: “A-Heng understands the good intentions of preparing an extra dowry, but grandmother’s good intentions can not be rejected.”
“What do you mean?” Chen shi absolutely was a waste. She could not understand the round about message at all.
Feng Yu Heng spoke again: “What A-Heng means is, since grandmother has granted it, then A-Heng will do a favor at no cost. The extra dowry should be split between my little sisters, Xiang Rong and Fen Dai. As for elder sister…” She glanced at Chen Yu, “Thinking about it, she will definitely be like me and not argue with our little sisters.”
With flattery passed along like that, Feng Chen Yu could not say anything. She had no choice but to display a generous smile and agree: “Naturally.”
Although An shi kept a low profile, she was quite smart. As for Xiang Rong, as her daughter, though the rules of the manor had frightened her a little, but she could tell the difference between good and bad. Additionally, An shi had been friendly with Yao shi and Xiang Rong had liked to stick to Feng Yu Heng since she was little. Naturally, once she started up the act, she would do her best to help.
As such, An shi shot a look over, and Xiang Rong immediately knelt in the middle of the room, her face full of joy, “Xiang Rong thanks grandmother, thanks mother, and thanks eldest sister and second sister.”
Feng Fen Dai even more loved small victories. In the end, she only hated the manor’s way of pressing a so-called daughter of the first wife down on her. She did not truly hate Feng Yu Heng and Feng Chen Yu as people. So in regards to what Feng Chen Yu said, her second sister, the former daughter to the first wife, especially now that she was engaged to a worthless prince, she did not feel superior in the slightest. Even more so now that she had granted her such a large favor. It is important to note that for a concubine’s daughter, a dowry will be significantly smaller than that of the daughter of the first wife. Normally, the concubine daughters would receive equal amounts for their dowry, but now it had been increased by half.
As such, Fen Dai also quickly knelt on the ground and happily thanked them for their kindness in a loud voice: “Many thanks grandmother, mother and my two elder sisters!”
Xiang Rong thought for a moment and leaned forward adding: “Thank you father.”
The two girls giving their thanks completely blocked anything the matriarch wanted to say.
Chen shi’s eyes were opened wide, as she wanted to resist. An shi and Han shi picked up some benefits and walked to the middle of room and bowed deeply and spoke together: “Thank you, Lord husband.”
An shi further added a little extra to prevent the matriarch from speaking, “In this capital, everyone knows that the matriarch of Feng manor adores the younger generation. You have never treated the third young miss and fourth young miss as mere concubine’s daughters. You truly are the paragon as praised.”
These words, once spoken, regardless of sincere or not, the matriarch immediately puffed herself up tall. Even she herself felt a little smug. One hand supporting her waist, the other holding her cane, she nodded while smiling: “As I just said, there shall be no favoritism. They are all family.”
Chen shi felt that her heart was bleeding. Yet she saw Chen Yu slightly shaking her head, and further saw the face full of praise belonging to Feng Jin Yuan. No matter how unhappy she was at this moment, she had to first swallow this anger. In front, Xiang Rong and Fen Dai were only ten years old. There was still a long time before they would leave the manor.
Seeing Chen shi reluctantly nod her head, the two kneeling children stood up. Xiang Rong kept a stoic look, while Fen Dai allowed the joy in her heart to show on her face.
Chen shi looked at her and felt that the girl was at such a young age, yet at some unknown time had become coquettish like Han shi. Her heart felt even more uneasy.
At this time, granny Zhao, who had been sent to find strong servants for Yao shi, quickly shuffled back. As she passed through the door, she tripped, but was supported by a girl nearby. Thanks to this, she did not fall.
Granny Zhao only answered to the matriarch. The matriarch naturally knew that if nothing big had happened, nothing could make granny Zhao so rushed. She quickly asked: “What happened?”
Granny Zhao took a few breaths and seeing that Feng Jin Yuan was present, quickly bowed to him. She then spoke to everyone: “The Royal Palace’s people have come give betrothal gifts!”
1: Guanyin is associated with compassion within Buddhism.