Feng Manor Displays its Might
She was certain. The man wearing the golden mask in the carriage was the same man she had met in the mountains when she first arrived in this world. There was no way she could forget the seductive charm of that purple lotus nor his fair face. Even more so, she couldnâ€™t figure out why he had to wear that mask.
â€śIs that person the ninth prince?â€ť Feng Yu Heng asked Yao shi.
â€śIs A-Heng talking about the person sitting in the carriage?â€ť Yao shi also looked over. â€śSince this is a celebration welcoming the princeâ€™s return to the capital, it must be the prince.â€ť
Granny Sun had already knelt with the other commoners and continued kowtowing towards the carriage.
Feng Yu Heng pondered deeply. She continued to stare towards the carriage while standing on her own. She felt that when the curtain opened up, the person inside was also glancing in her direction, yet she did not see his eyes stop on her.
He probably forgot the promise. With a feeling of self-ridicule, she shrank back and sat down. Since it was the ninth prince, the other side was a person of the feudal family. He was a first-class eminent person. How could they remember a mountain child.
Exceptâ€¦ Why was it, in spite of having won the war, that his army did not show any merriment?
Ninth princeâ€¦ Feng Yu Heng was suddenly seized by panic and blurted out a question: â€śGranny Sun, you said before that the Feng family sent you to retrieve us. What was that for again?â€ť
Granny Sun stood up from the ground, her face displayed an enormous smile, â€śMiss, itâ€™s for your marriage to the ninth prince!â€ť
Yao shi also let out a rare look of joy. â€śA-Heng, the days of bitterness have almost come to an end. With his recent military accomplishments, he stands out above the other princes. My A-Heng has become very fortunate.â€ť
Feng Yu Heng had never believed in such a thing as fortune. She hurried Yao shi and granny Sun back on to the carriage, then carried Feng Zi Rui in as well. With the army slowly entering the city, they followed closely and entered directly behind them.
Some matters became unclear in her heart. Some matters had leads open up, but she had no time to ponder them too deeply.
A group of people hastily led the carriage toward the Feng manor. Unknown to them, the man behind the golden mask had already set his eyes to following her carriageâ€™s path until he spotted the small, young girl in the carriage. As before, she looked thin and weak. She appeared even worse for wear than in the mountains. He considered, rushing here from the far west to the capital, she must have suffered greatly along the way.
With these few words, Bai Ze, who was standing nearby, understood immediately. He bowed deeply and replied: â€śServant understands.â€ť
Finally standing before the Feng manorâ€™s main entrance, Feng Yu Heng looked at the sign board in front of her eyes that was written vertically, to comply with societal norms, â€śLeft Minister Feng Residenceâ€ť These four large words caused a laugh of ridicule to bubble up in her heart.
The dignified left prime minister actually dared abandon his wife and favor his concubine. He abandoned his own daughter in a mountain village, never bothering to mind what happened to them. She really wanted, when this father saw them once more, how he would react.
Granny Sun let out a long breath while repeating, â€śTheyâ€™ve finally returned.â€ť She grabbed a few people and went to knock on the door.
The gatekeeper opened the door. Seeing that it was granny Sun, he stared blankly for a moment. Then, with a â€śthumpâ€ť sound, he closed the door once more.
â€śHey!â€ť Granny Sun was ignored. She felt irritated, but she did not know where to direct it. She turned and consoled the three behind her: â€śMadam donâ€™t worry. It must be that the servantâ€™s gone to report inside.â€ť
Feng Zi Rui held Feng Yu Hengâ€™s hand and did not want to let go. This place was unfamiliar but held a slight hint of familiarity for him. It made him both yearn for it and afraid of it.
They all waited outside the door for a long time. Feng Zi Rui had already asked three times, â€śDoes father not want to see us?â€ť When he was about to ask a fourth time, the door was opened once more.
A dignified looking housekeeper, He Zhong, followed by two servants, appeared to receive them. His face was a mixture of uncertainty and awkwardness with a bit of an awkward smile. As he was about to speak, Feng Yu Heng blocked it with one sentence, â€śItâ€™s really difficult to gain entrance to Feng Manor.â€ť
He Zhong was also used to seeing people putting up fronts. Hearing those words, he quickly responded: â€śSecond young miss is too harsh. This is the fault of some servants who donâ€™t know the rules. Would the second young miss please follow this old servant to the main hall. The master, the madam and matriarch are waiting on you in the main hall. Delaying will not be good. As for the punishment of the servant, we will leave it to the second young miss later.â€ť In a few words, he had cleanly taken care of all complaints.
Feng Yu Heng had subconsciously excessively argued with a housekeeper. Since she had already entered the Feng manor, she would take a close look at what type of demon or evil spirit the people of this manor were.
He Zhong led them towards the main hall. They passed by the screen wall1, through two winding corridors, a pond of golden carp and a garden with herbs of many colors. The sound of countless birds chirping sounded.
Along the way, the servants they saw were all elderly, if they were not 100, they were at least 80. Every one of them had a look of uncertainty and spoke timidly in hushed voices. One such phrase reached Feng Yu Hengâ€™s ears, â€śSecond young miss has returned to the manor. What will happen to eldest young missâ€™ marriage?â€ť
This sort of misgiving was beneath her. The ninth prince was victorious in his campaign. If the Feng manor wanted to rise further, there was still the matter of this marriage. They had sent someone to bring her back to the capital. But why did they send another to murder the three, mother and children, en route. Thinking carefully, it was most likely that they saw the ninth princeâ€™s influence grow. In regards to the marriage between the daughter of the first wife and him, if Feng Yu Heng had died, then it would be Feng Chen Yu who profited.
Feng Chen Yuâ€¦ She searched the original ownerâ€™s memories. That year, she was two years older than her. Indeed, she did have the appearance of a gloomy fish2. With regards to Feng Chen Yuâ€™s birth mother, Chen shi, she made others eat losses all in order to acquire the title of official wife. Feng Chen Yu logically became Feng familyâ€™s official daughter of the first wife.
Passing by a field of peonies, they finally reached the Feng manorâ€™s main hall established in a courtyard of peonies.
A servant girl with a dignified look had already opened the curtains and was waiting for them. However, her smile could only be described as forced.
Yao shi had kept her head lowered the entire way. Her timid demeanor also caused Feng Zi Rui to feel afraid. Feng Yu Heng continued to be expressionless. She, however, could not help be intrigued at how the Feng manor had become richer and richer over the past few years. But after many years of facing challenges during her career in the military, she had long learned to keep her emotions well hidden.
Aside from granny Sun, who stood outside because of her position as a servant, everyone entered the main hall. They only saw in the first seat, an elegant and luxurious old lady, who sat with her back straight. Though she is described as an old lady, she was not even 60 years old. Her hair still had not become completely white. However, in order to make her status within the Feng family apparent, she had, for years, maintained her posture as an elder. Even the ornaments on her headdress emphasized wealth and steadiness. Even more, she was already holding a cane made of rosewood. A large jade pieces was inlaid in gold at the head of the cane, but it doesnâ€™t seem to look very good. It did accomplish making her appear arrogant on account of her age.
The elderly woman sat across a small table from a middle-aged man around 40 years of age. His expression rigid, he was tall and wore a long, brown robe. His collar, cuffs and sash area were stitched with silver threads and looked like auspicious veins. A whip hung ornamentally on his waist, his ambition overflowing.
Feng Yu Heng knew the other party was her father, Feng Jin Yuan. This was recalled from one of the original ownerâ€™s vaguer memories. He had even carried her on his shoulders, and rubbed their cheeks together. Those memories, however, could not be reconciled with the cold detached face that was before her eyes now.
Sitting next to Feng Jin Yuan was a fat bear.
Mhm, a bear. She did not know what other words could be use to describe Chen shi.
Not yet 40 years old, she was so fat that she appeared round. Her neck appeared fused with her chin. Her belly extended further out than her breasts. She had no waist. Her wrists were thicker than a bears paw. Contrary to expectations, she liked to wear form-fitting clothes. It felt that if she breathed deeper, one could hear her clothes start to make a tearing sound.
Chen shi came from a merchant family. Even though she was married to the prime minister, she could not make use of her inherent wealth, which led to her becoming arrogant from her wealth. She loved to show off, as she feared people did not know of her wealth. No matter, gold, silver or precious jade stone, they were all on display on her body. Her head was so covered in ornaments, it was almost impossible to see her hair. While her wrist was hidden in her sleeve, all her fingers were adorned with rings.
Standing next to Chen shi was the Feng familyâ€™s eldest daughter and currently daughter of the first wife, Feng Chen Yu, 14 years old.
Feng Chen Yu truly lived up to the name Chen shi had given her. Her hands were delicate, brows like an emerald green feather, a sly yet pretty smile, and beautiful eyes. She was clothed in a water-blue dress that fell to the ground. It displayed her exquisite form vividly. A suet jade bracelet that matched her delicate and fair skin adorned wrist. When she looked towards Yao shi and company, her eyes showed sadness and sympathy. With such a look in her eyes, countless people would begin to harbor feelings of tender affection. It was well known to everyone that the eldest miss, Feng Chen Yu, was a fairy-like existence. She even treated the servants in the manor with respect and courtesy. How could she have the heart to see her relatives in a difficult situation knelt before them.
Feng Jin Yuan began to fret about his eldest daughter: â€śChen Yu donâ€™t worry and go get some rest. You donâ€™t need to worry about taking care of them.â€ť
Feng Chen Yu shook her head, â€śChen Yu hasnâ€™t seen mother Yao, little sister Heng and little brother Zi Rui in many years. Father, please let Chen Yu stay for a little while longer.â€ť
Feng Jin Yuan said no more. Feng Yu Heng followed behind Yao shi, while pulling on Feng Zi Rui then knelt on her knees.
Yao shi was the first to speak, â€śConcubine Yao shi pays respect to mother.â€ť
Feng Yu Heng brought Feng Zi Rui along to say: â€śWe pay respect to the matriarch.â€ť However, none mentioned Chen shi.
The main hall was filled with silence aside from Chen shi who let out an unreconciled hmph.
Looking at Yao shi, she maintained an appearance of keeping her eyes down.
After a while, the elderly woman let out a â€śHmâ€ť sound then returned to silence.
1: Screen wall
2: Play on her name Chen Yu (ć˛‰é±Ľ) which literally means gloomy or depressed fish.