The Empress’ Gift
With an Imperial decree, Chen Yu’s dreams of acquiring the phoenix hairpin became completely crushed.
Feng Yu Heng raised both hands above her head and heard the imperial guard heavily say: “Princess, you must take care of it.”
After saying this, he placed the bow in Feng Yu Heng’s hands.
Feng Yu Heng received the Hou Yi bow and felt that it was extremely heavy. If she had not prepared herself beforehand, perhaps she would not have been able to hold it.
When she raised her head once more, she saw an approving look from the imperial guard. She already knew that this Hou Yi bow was an extraordinary thing.
Sure enough, seeing that she held the bow in her hands, Zhang Yuan also nodded and breathed a sigh of relief. After that, he once again announced: “The Hou Yi bow is a relic of Da Shun. The bow is made of cold black jade and has a weight of 189 jin. The founding emperor of Da Shun used this bow to kill the enemy leader and established the foundations of our Da Shun country. Ever since that moment, the founding emperor declared that the owner of this bow, regardless of gender, may enter and leave any military camp within Da Shun, may assist in commanding the three armies and help the Emperor in keeping peace in the world!”
Feng Yu Heng stared at Zhang Yuan, her lips curving into a smile. She could practically see the Emperor and Xuan Tian Ming giggling while looking at this Hou Yi bow and thinking of giving it to her.
Feng Yu Heng knew that the triple arrow shot she revealed at the banquet was a surprise to everyone. Even in the eyes of Xuan Tian Ming, her value would increase. If the Emperor truly were acting solely for his son’s benefit, then he would obviously understand that only Feng Yu Heng was worthy of his most beloved son.
After he finished speaking, Zhang Yuan looked at Feng Yu Heng then smiled and asked her: “Has princess remembered it all?”
Feng Yu Heng nodded:” A-Heng has remembered it and thanks his Majesty for his imperial grace.” Holding the bow, she kowtowed.
Zhang Yuan was very satisfied with Feng Yu Heng’s actions. When he then looked towards Feng Jin Yuan, he found that this lord prime minister had a face filled with uncertainty.
He silently laughed to himself. This mediocre prime minister had been kept around for many years, believing that he had done a good job in protecting the Feng manor. What he did not know, however, was that the Emperor had stopped regarding him as important the moment the Feng family chased the Yao family’s daughter from her position as head wife.
“Eunuch, please come to the hall and enjoy a cup of hot tea!” After Feng Yu Heng received the imperial decree and the bow, everyone in the Feng manor also stood up. The matriarch took the initiative in inviting Zhang Yuan while shooting a look in Feng Jin Yuan’s direction.
In truth, there was no need for the matriarch to give him this look. Feng Jin Yuan obviously understood that he had to curry favor with Zhang Yuan. But this Zhang Yuan had been able to steadily stay at the Emperor’s side for many years. How could he be so easy for the officials to curry favor with. Even for a prince, whether they were distant or near, he was able to clearly distinguish.
As for the matriarch’s invitation, Zhang Yuan politely waved his hand, saying: “Many thanks, elderly madam. We still must return and report to the Emperor, so we will not be staying and causing trouble. Oh right” As he spoke, he looked towards Feng Jin Yuan, “When we left, we saw another group also heading in the Feng manor’s direction. After asking around, we discovered it was the Empress that sent them to give something to the Feng family’s eldest young miss. Lord Feng should prepare and have the eldest young miss come out.”
After Zhang Yuan finished speaking, he saluted the people of the Feng family. Feng Jin Yuan and the people of the Feng family also returned this salute. Only then did Zhang Yuan leave the manor. Before he had a chance to go call Chen Yu, a guard from outside the gate quickly ran in and said in a panic: “Master, a carriage from the palace is coming towards our manor.”
Feng Jin Yuan quickly gave an order to a servant: “Quickly go and help bring the eldest young miss out.”
He did not know what Zhang Yuan meant by the Empress was going to give something to the eldest young miss. Chen Yu had done something bad last night. The Empress not getting angry was already a massive imperial grace. How could she still send a gift to her?
The matriarch was a little confused. Grabbing Yao shi’s sleeve with one hand and An shi’s sleeve with the other, she asked the two: “What does the Empress want to give Chen Yu?”
Yao shi and An shi shook their heads, quietly saying: “This concubine does not know.” Each one was formulaic and emotionless.
The matriarch was angry and helpless. She wanted to vent on these two concubines, but one was Feng Yu Heng’s mother and the other was mother to Xiang Rong, who got along well with Feng Yu Heng. She could do nothing to either of them.
With no place to vent her anger, the matriarch looked around before finally calling a maidservant: “Go tell Han shi to kneel in her own courtyard to receive the imperial decree with everyone else!”
The maidservant hurriedly ran off. Feng Yu Heng smiled to herself and quietly walked over to the matriarch: “Grandmother, do not get angry. It might be that the Empress felt she had been too harsh last night and wishes to make things right by giving a gift! After all, father is the prime minister.”
Only then did the matriarch relax a little, but she still felt uneasy. Fortunately, she had Feng Yu Heng could speak with. She quickly grabbed Feng Yu Heng’s hand and oddly asked: “Could it be? If the palace really valued your father’s position as the prime minister, why did they not show the slightest bit of concern over the results of what happened with Chen shi?” Thinking a little more, she comforted herself, saying: “Previously, it was imperial concubine Yun. This time it is the Empress. The Empress has always been more lenient a person, unlike imperial concubine Yun.” After saying this, she felt something was off. Grabbing Feng Yu Heng, she repeatedly said: “I do not have any other meaning. I am not saying imperial concubine Yun is not good. Dear granddaughter, you absolutely must not take it to heart. You must not get angry at grandmother!”
Feng Yu Heng understood her grandmother was already beginning to fear her. It was not just the grandmother that feared her, Feng Jin Yuan also began to fear her, but he could handle it better than the matriarch. He also did not forget his pride as a father.
She did not care about these sorts of things. Whether the Feng family loved or feared her, it was all a result of what they had done. Feng Yu Heng had never had any shitty principle like “If people do not trouble me, I will not trouble others.” In regards to this Feng manor, whether she troubled people depended on her mood. If she was happy, she would go out and chat. If she was unhappy, she would definitely have to go out and find something to resolve her feelings. It could be considered as her having understood that in this family, aside form a few people that she held dear, the others were not worth pity.
While she was thinking, Chen Yu had been helped out of her room by some servants. She had changed out of her red clothes long ago, and she had washed her face. All that remained to remind everyone of her troubles were her swollen eyes.
The matriarch wanted to talk with Chen Yu. She was the daughter with the most hope on her shoulders after all. She had doted on her for this many years. Now that she saw Chen Yu in such a miserable state, how could she not feel bad for her.
But she was still holding on to Feng Yu Heng. If she let go of her now to go worry about Chen Yu, she felt it would not be too good.
Just as the matriarch was hesitating, the palace carriage arrived at the manor’s gates.
Two palace maids exited the carriage first. They then lifted the curtain and helped an old granny out.
Yao shi glanced over and recognized that person. She quietly whispered to An shi: “That is the Dong granny who serves at the Empress’ side. She has served the Empress for thirty years.”
An shi came to an understanding, “Big sister must have met plenty of people like this in the palace before, but now…”
“It’s fine.” Yao shi slightly shook her head, “So long as my A-Heng and Zi Rui are well, anything is fine for me.”
An shi nodded, “Second young miss and second young master are both people with bright futures. Big sister’s future will definitely be blessed.”
While the two spoke, the granny entered the manor with the two palace servants behind her.
In the hands of the two palace maids, there were two boxes. The granny’s face had a serious expression, as she stood in the middle of the yard. Looking around at everyone, her gaze finally landed on Feng Yu Heng, and her gloomy face finally warmed up a little. With a bit of a smile, she nodded to Feng Yu Heng then returned being expressionless, loudly announcing: “The Empress is giving an award. Feng family’s eldest young miss, Feng Chen Yu, to receive the award!”
Although they had prepared themselves mentally, actually hearing that Chen Yu would receive an award, Feng Jin Yuan, the matriarch and Feng Chen Yu truly perked up.
Everyone else had come to see something interesting, so they knelt down and heard the granny say: “The Empress has said that giving an award is enough. There is no need for an Empress’ decree.” As she said this, she waved to the two palace servants behind her: “Bring it forward!” She then looked at Chen Yu and said: “This is two boxes of blush from Xi Jiang that were offered as tribute to the palace. It is very precious. Every year, the palace only receives 365 boxes.”
Xiang Rong was the first to lost her composure and begin laughing.
An shi was frightened and covered her mouth. The granny did not say anything, instead glaring fiercely at Feng Jin Yuan.
Xiang Rong’s face became red from holding it in. She wanted to laugh, but she did not dare laugh. 365 boxes each year, then would that not mean that the palace received one every day. How could that be considered precious?
The granny was very satisfied with Xiang Rong’s reaction. Clearing her throat, she continued: “Speaking of precious, the most precious part of this blush is its color. It is a type of black blush. After applying it, the entire face will turn black.”
Feng Chen Yu wanted to die!
The thing she took pride in the most was her face. It could be said that this face was her life. At the time, it was based on this face that Daoist Zi Yang claimed her to be the aspect of the phoenix, which led to her wanting to become the mother of all under heaven.
But now, the Empress wanted her to make her face black when she went out of the manor. How could this be fine?
An unyielding look appeared on Feng Chen Yu’s face, as she looked at Feng Jin Yuan in grief. She discovered, however, that Feng Jin Yuan merely had his head lowered and did not even look at her. When she looked over at the matriarch, she found that the matriarch was like her father and only kept her head down. Neither dared resist in the slightest.
She had no choice. As she was about to speak up for herself, she raised her head and found that the granny was looking in her direction. At the same time, her voice carried some doubt, as she asked: “Eldest young miss Feng is wanting to refuse?”
Feng Chen Yu shivered, as her knees began to hurt. Having knelt for an entire night, they began to act up.
She helplessly lowered her head, resist? She did not dare.
“This humble girl receives the award.” She raised her hands high above her head, just as Feng Yu Heng had to Zhang Yuan. Unfortunately, one had received a treasured bow, while the other received a crappy box of blush that the country saw more than 300 of each year.
The two palace maids suddenly place the two big boxes in Chen Yu’s hands. Although it looked like two large boxes, the reality was that there were 50 smaller boxes inside. In addition to this, the boxes were originally quite heavy. Like that, the two boxes were dropped in Chen Yu’s hands, causing her to feel a heavy sensation in her arms. This nearly caused her to drop the boxes.
The granny quickly reminded her: “Eldest young miss, you must take care to hold on to the boxes. If the boxes were to flip, her Highness would definitely get angry.”
Chen Yu could only do her best and hold the two boxes steadily. The tears in her eyes came out, causing her to look as pitiful as it was possible to be.
The granny saw that the things were received then nodded in satisfaction. She then said: “Since eldest young miss Feng has already received the award, this old servant will return and report to the Empress. Oh right…” As she said this, she turned towards Feng Yu Heng: “Her Highness has been worrying about princess. Right before this old servant left the palace, her Highness advised this old servant to urge princess to visit his Majesty and her Highness in the palace when princess has time.”
Feng Yu Heng smiled and raised her head, revealing two rows of white teeth and obediently saying: “A-Heng has remembered it. Many thanks to her Highness for her concern.”
The Feng family’s matriarch spoke her habitual words: “We invite granny to come into the hall to drink some hot tea!”
The granny did not even look at the matriarch, only waving her hand. Turning around, she left the manor.
Just as the palace’s carriage left, Chen Yu’s personal servant shrilly shrieked: “Eldest young miss! What happened?”