Two Imperial Graces
Although Chen Wan Jin and Chen Wan Shun were the older brothers, they respected Chen Wan Liang. Not only did they listen to him for business matters, they also listened to him for daily matters.
When the two saw that Chen Wan Liang became soft, they also stopped being tough. They went up together and lit three sticks of incense. They heard Chen Wan Liang say to Feng Jin Yuan: “Might I ask Minister Feng how long will big sister’s coffin remain here?”
Normally speaking, a coffin was carried out after three days, but the Feng family had always received a large number of people. Leaving it for five to seven days was even alright.
Feng Jin Yuan did not have intend to keep Chen shi’s coffin around at home for long and said: “Tomorrow will be the third day. The coffin will be brought to the old home where she will be laid to rest.”
Chen Wan Ling did not have any doubts and said to Feng Jin Yuan: “Thinking about it, Minister Feng does not have much time to send the coffin back to the old home. The manor is filled with precious children, so you should not overexert yourself. How about letting us brothers send big sister away one last time.”
Feng Jin Yuan nodded, “That’s good. Then I will trouble you.”
Chen Wan Liang waved his hand then glanced at Chen Yu one more time and said: “Know what is best for yourself.” He then turned and quickly left with his two brothers.
Just as they left, a voice called out from outside the yard and reported: “Imperial daughter Wu Yang has arrived!”
The people of the Feng family had just managed to pull their thoughts away from the Chen family and turned their attention to the yard. There, they saw imperial daughter Wu Yang, Xuan Tian Ge, walk towards the mourning hall with three other wealthy-looking girls.
They did not recognize the other three, but Feng Yu Heng did. They were the good friends, Fung Tian Yu1, Ren Xi Feng and Bai Fu Rong.
A proper imperial daughter had come, so everyone from the Feng family naturally had to go welcome her. The matriarch was the first to step forward, while Feng Jin Yuan followed behind her. Arriving before Xuan Tian Ge, the females knelt and Feng Jin Yuan greeted her, saying: “Greetings imperial daughter Wu Yang.”
Xuan Tian Ge quickly went forward and helped the matriarch up, very politely saying: “There is no need for elder madam to stand on ceremony.”
The matriarch gratefully said: “Being able to receive imperial daughter Wu Yang truly is the Feng family’s good fortune.”
“What sort of thing is the matriarch saying.” Xuan Tian Ge spoke and looked towards Feng Yu Heng: “With something this big happening to A-Heng’s family, how could us good friends not come.” After she said this, she introduced the girls behind her to the matriarch: “This is the daughter to the first wife of Prime Minister Fung’s manor, Fung Tian Yu. This is the daughter to the first wife of General Ping Nan, Ren Xi Feng. This is the daughter of court artisan Bai, Bai Fu Rong.”
The three walked forward and politely greeted the matriarch. Xuan Tian Ge then said: “We will go light a few sticks of incense for the deceased head madam of the manor.”
After saying this, she led the three friends to the mourning hall. After each person lit three sticks, they exited and said to Feng Jin Yuan: “Lord Feng, do not mourn too much.”
Feng Jin Yuan displayed his gratefulness, “Many thanks, imperial daughter. Many thanks to you girls. A little earlier, his Highness Prince Chun and his Highness Prince Yu came by. General Ping Nan, Lord Fung and sir Bai also came by earlier in the morning. Now that the four of you have personally come as well, this minister is truly grateful.”
Feng Tian Yu took care of speaking: “Lord Feng’s words are treating us as outsiders. Without speaking for our fathers, with whom you have been colleagues with for many years, just us sisters are really close with A-Heng. Just as imperial daughter said, when something happened in A-Heng’s family, we couldn’t not come.”
Her words were very clear. We came to the Feng manor to give Feng Yu Heng face. It has nothing to do with your Feng family.
Feng Jin Yuan was a little embarrassed, but he could not express it. He could only politely greet them.
The matriarch, however, felt that this gave them some face. Regardless of who they came for, they had entered the Feng manor. Speaking of it further down the line, it was still giving face to the Feng family.
As for Feng Jin Yuan, he also had some sort of misconception. It was as though he had returned to three years prior. At that time, although the Feng family was also the manor of a prime minister, it still could not reach the heights of the Yao family, which was comprised of divine doctors that benefited mankind. From the Emperor down to the common citizen, who among them did not praise the Yao family. At that time, no matter what happened in the Feng manor, people would go visit to give the Yao family face. Just as imperial daughter Wu Yang came to Feng manor for Feng Yu Heng, how many years has it been since anyone from the Wen Xuan palace visited them!
The matriarch was also sighing internally. This was what a proper daughter to the first wife was like! This was what it took to arouse the interest of multiple daughters of first wives.
Looking again at Chen Yu, who stood alone, there was nobody who took care of her. Because of Chen shi, she did not have any proper friends. The people the Chen family knew were either merchants or low-leveled officials. Getting involved with them, Chen Yu would not become anyone of importance.
She knew that this was not Chen Yu’s fault. It could all be blamed on Chen shi. Not only had she not created a good environment to foster relationships over the past few years, she had even caused Chen Yu to not be able to enter the imperial palace for five years. Chen shi really was an obstacle set by the devil for the Feng family!
“Elderly madam.” Bai Fu Rong, who had been standing to the side, finally spoke. In her hands was a small box that she handed to the matriarch, “Our Bai family does not have too much ability, and my father does not have an official rank. Being able to come to Feng manor and become friends with A-Heng is Fu Rong’s good fortune. Today is my first time coming, so this bit of goodwill will be given to elderly madam. It is a pair of earrings made by father, but I hope that elderly madam will not mind.”
The matriarch nearly fainted from this great surprise!
Jewelry handcrafted by craftsman Bai, that was something that could be fought over by the imperial concubines! Even when she dreamed during her mid-day naps, she could not dream of such a scene. Now, she had received it from craftsman Bai’s own daughter!
“This…” The matriarch nearly ran out of words to say. Trembling, she received the box and opened it. Looking inside, it was a pair of golden earrings. It did not appear to have an intricate design, nor did it have any jewels inlaid. It appeared to be a very common item; however, upon closer inspection, she discovered that whether it was the polish of the gold or the way it was crafted, it was clear that it was a masterful piece. In this world, perhaps only craftsman Bai could make such a thing. There was nobody else in the world capable of making gold shine in this manner.
“If elderly madam likes, then that is good.” Bai Fu Rong was very satisfied with the matriarch’s expression. She knew that the things her father made had never disappointed anyone.
The matriarch spoke emotionally: “I like it! I like it! Being able to receive something made by craftsman Bai in this lifetime, that is an incredibly great honor!”
Ren Xi Feng also went forward and said to the matriarch: “Like Fu Rong, Xi Feng could not come to the manor empty handed.” She received something from her maidservant’s hand, “This is a cloak made of sable fur2 that my family’s uncle found while in the far North. There are a total of two. Mother took one, and this one will be gifted from Xi Feng to elderly madam.”
The matriarch was touched once more, and her hands began to tremble. Sable! That was something that was incredibly hard to find in Da Shun, yet it had somehow found its way into her hands.
Not waiting for her to finish being emotional, Fung Tian Yu also held a small wooden box and went forward: “In this box is a piece of warm heart jade. Regardless of what season it is, placing it near your heart will help warm the heart and lungs. It is incredibly good for the body. This is something awarded some years ago by the Empress Dowager. Mother could not bear to use it, so today, I put a string through it and am gifting it to elderly madam. I hope elderly madam can take care of her body and live a healthy life.”
After the three wealthy girls had finished giving their gifts, the finale was left to Xuan Tian Ge.
The matriarch’s anticipation became palpable. The previous three girls had given her such great gifts. Not only had she received earrings made by craftsman Bai, she had also received a sable cloak, and she had even received something awarded by the Empress Dowager herself. This imperial daughter Wu Yang was proper royalty, so what sort of gift would she give?
Xuan Tian Ge looked at the matriarch and seemed to be able to read her thoughts in her eyes. She could not help but smile, “Today, us four sisters came to your manor. One was to offer condolences for the manor’s head madam. Second… I will tell you the truth, was to help A-Heng keep up appearances. Ever since three years ago, my mother began to feel depressed because of the matter with aunt Yao. Ever since the previous time when we met on the road to Pu Du Temple, she became even more endlessly woeful. We did not know what sort of life A-Heng was living in the Feng manor, but we hoped that elderly madam could take more care of A-Heng and aunt Yao. This is not simply the friendship between us sisters, this is the desire of our families. Previously, General Ping Nan became severely injured after a battle. If it were not for the help of divine doctor Yao, perhaps he would have perished long ago. Prime Minister Fung and the Bai family have also both received the grace of the Yao family many times, so we all hope that A-Heng can live well. This can also be considered taking care of our families’ concerns of the past few years.”
Hearing Xuan Tian Ge’s words, Feng Jin Yuan could not help but think back. Thinking that it was not a problem, sure enough, he recalled how Yao Xian had forcefully dragged General Ping Nan back from the boundary of life and death. There was also the Fung family, Bai family, and even every family that was worth remembering in the capital, including the Imperial throne, who had not received treatment from Yao Xian? Having money and having power were not things to fear, but a doctor capable of bringing the dying back to life, this was the most fearsome one!
Thinking like this, he thought of Feng Yu Heng. If Yao shi were still the head wife, would the Feng family have been in this situation?
Chen Yu saw Feng Jin Yuan’s thoughts changing and could not help but lightly call out to him: “Father.”
Feng Jin Yuan suddenly turned around and looked at Chen Yu, his state of mind normalizing. No matter what happened, he had to worry about Chen Yu’s future. People would need to make decisions. Since he had already made the choice of standing on Chen Yu’s side, he could no longer change his mind.
The matriarch, however, was moved by Xuan Tian Ge’s words and made her position clear: “Imperial daughter, please do not worry. You young misses, please do not worry either. This old one will not treat A-Heng poorly. The Feng family also will not treat Yao shi and her children poorly.”
Yao shi was standing to the side while holding Zi Rui’s hand. Hearing Xuan Tian Ge’s words and seeing their expressions, memories from the past came up, and tears began to flow.
“Good.” Xuan Tian Ge nodded, “This imperial daughter did not bring much in terms of gifts, but I did bring two imperial graces. I do not know if elderly madam and Lord Feng want them.”
“Want them!” The matriarch quickly spoke. What a joke, imperial daughter Wu Yang’s imperial grace, was that something that could be received so easily.
Feng Jin Yuan also quickly cupped his hands and bowed: “This official thanks imperial daughter.”
“Good.” Xuan Tian Ge nodded and slowly said: “The first imperial grace is to be awarded to Feng Zi Rui.”
Hearing these words, Yao shi quickly brought Zi Rui to the front. Just as she was about to kneel, she was stopped by Xuan Tian Ge “Aunt Yao, there is no need to be polite with Tian Ge. This imperial grace was something mother requested for Zi Rui.” As she said this, she looked at Feng Jin Yuan: “My maternal grandfather has already sought permission from the head teacher of Yun Lu Academy in Xiao Zhou. When the Feng family has finished conducting the funeral, bring Zi Rui to Xiao Zhou, where he will be taken in as my maternal grandfather’s personal disciple.”
1: Changing her surname from Feng to Fung to help reduce confusion.
2: Some sort of furry creature found in Mongolia and Northern China