A curtain was lowered on the banquet before the sun had set. Before it came to a close, everyone expressed their sympathies to Feng Yu Heng in order to satisfy the main reason for this banquet, easing her shock from Feng Tong county.
As for Feng Jin Yuan, he did not speak at all in the latter half of the banquet. He only held his cup of wine and pondered endlessly. He thought about how many hearts Feng Yu Heng had won over. If he did not think about it, he truly would not know, but he could not help but be shocked after thinking on it. Of almost all the people with any influence, most of them belonged to her. In the future, if it remained calm and peaceful, then it would be fine; however, if anything were to happen, perhaps the number of people to cause trouble for the Feng manor would be even greater than this time.
Sitting in a small boat and leaving the island at the heart of the lake, he felt that things would be fine. Yao shi had once again become the head wife of the Feng family. Feng Yu Heng and Feng Zi Rui had become the daughter and son of the first wife. Thinking about it, there should not be anything worth causing a fuss over, right?
But the matters on the third prince’s end caused him some concern. Princess Xiang’s illness was cured, so Chen Yu’s marriage talks would be pushed back. That child would reach the age of marriage next year, so he could not continue to delay this matter.
His mind was a mess, as he had to think about all sorts of things. As for Feng Yu Heng, at this time, she had already boarded Xuan Tian Ming’s black jade boat. The two sat face to face, as their eyes were filled with smiles.
This black jade boat happened to coincidentally be beside Xuan Tian Hua’s white jade boat. With one black and one white, they looked like messengers from the underworld. Although it was very pleasing to the eye, it also caused people’s hearts to tremble.
“I will be going to the military barracks tomorrow.” Xuan Tian Ming spoke up, explaining: “The four countries surrounding Da Shun are dangers to the country. Presently, it may appear to be quiet and peaceful, but it is hard to say that they will not cause trouble some day.”
Feng Yu Heng nodded, agreeing with him, “Da Shun is vast and has abundant amounts of resources and its lands fertile. The small countries neighboring either are too small or just do not have lands suitable for producing food. The North is too cold, and the South is too hot, which has limited their natural growth. If it continues, things will become messy.” She sat with him and analyzed: “Although I spoke of it last time with father Emperor, with Da Shun separating them in the middle, it is not very plausible for the four small countries to work together to cause trouble for Da Shun. But, there is always
a what if. What if they really are able to work together without the four needing to discuss things first? Or what if there is a spy in Da Shun who benefits from giving information. These are situations are all possible.”
Xuan Tian Ming carefully listened to her analysis. Seeing that she had stopped, he then spoke up: “Thus the military needs to increase its training. The border guards will also need to be on guard. Lord Ping Nan has already informed his former subordinates to increase their vigilance. My side will also become much busier. There is not too much need to worry about the officials to the Northwest, but the military barracks directly to the North will need to endure this cold Winter, which is another test.”
Feng Yu Heng had not experienced a Winter in this era and could not help but ask: “Is it very cold?”
Xuan Tian Ming nodded, “It’s not just cold. The cold can pierce through the skin and can directly chill the bone. Da Shun extends far into the North. When the ancestors created this country, they only worried about expanding their territory, but they did not think too much about how they would defend this territory after they acquired it.”
“Then in this season, wouldn’t the North suffer from disasters?”
“There is a Winter disaster every year. This year, it feels as though it will be a little bit colder, so I fear it will be even more serious.” Xuan Tian Ming’s gaze became profound. When speaking about the Winter disaster of Da Shun, it seemed as though the lotus flower at his brow became an even darker shade.
“Then take care of yourself.” She took the initiative and placed her hand in his. Just as she reached over, it became held tightly, “I do not understand the matters of the military barracks, and this was the first time I had heard about the Winter disasters of Da Shun. It seems that my understanding of the outside world is still too limited. When you aren’t busy, tell me more about it. I want to share this burden with you.”
If you want to find out about something while I am busy, you can go ask seventh brother. He will definitely know about it.”
“Ok.” Feng Yu Heng nodded seriously and committed this discussion to memory. She thought to herself that she had to get a better understanding of Da Shun after returning. At the very least, she could not be completely ignorant about Xuan Tian Ming’s matters. Given how the Emperor felt about this son and how he had given her many awards and protection, in addition to him forcefully interfering with an official’s family matters by re-instating Yao shi as the Feng family’s head wife. This was without a doubt paving a road for her. With the standing as daughter of the first wife, it would be very natural when she put on the phoenix hairpin in the future.
“Once you are done with matters at the military camp, come find me. I will take care of treating your legs.” She lowered
lowered her head, as her gaze fell at his legs, “It must hurt quite a bit.”
“I’ve gotten used to it.” He replied then asked her: “Do you find me sitting in a wheelchair troublesome?”
“How could that be?” Feng Yu Heng shook her head, “I know that this is one of the ways his Majesty is protecting you, but I also know you do not want it.”
“I don’t need this type of protection.” Xuan Tian Ming stared at her, “If this world could be obtained so easily through being protected like this, then that would not be interesting.”
She looked at him with a smile on her face, as her gaze landed on that purple lotus flower. She recalled the night they first met in the mountains of the Northwest. She had been enchanted by this lotus. In the blink of an eye, it had captured her heart.
Finally, they exited the palace. The carriages of each family had been waiting outside for a long time. The sky had become dark and the air colder. The carriage drivers were all rubbing their hands together and walking around in circles. They all hoped that their family’s young misses and madams would come out a little sooner.
But, for the person who came for the Feng family, nobody expected Feng Yu Heng to actually return with them. Thus, there was still just the one carriage. With three young misses inside, the space felt a little cramped. If any more people climbed in, it would over crowded.
Feng Fen Dai thought a little then took the initiative to say to Feng Yu Heng: “Second sister, you can sit inside the carriage. Fen Dai will sit with the carriage driver.”
Now that it was a cold and harsh Winter, if a young miss like Fen Dai sat outside for the entire duration of the trip back to the Feng manor, even if she did not freeze to death, she would lose a layer of skin. How could Feng Yu Heng agree to that.
“Many thanks for fourth sister’s consideration, but the air is extremely cold. If you sit outside, how could sister be at ease. The palace has already prepared a carriage for me. I will bring Xiang Rong to sit over there, so your carriage will become a little more spacious.” After she finished speaking, she did not even look at Fen Dao and Chen Yu before dragging Xiang Rong in another direction.
Xiang Rong rejoiced in her heart but was a little worried: “Eldest sister and fourth sister won’t be angry, right?”
She laughed, “How could they not be angry.”
“Then let’s…” Xiang Rong wanted to say then let’s explain it to them, but upon further reflection, felt that something was not right. The setup of the family was different now. Her second sister was the daughter of the first wife. Concubine mother Yao had become the head wife. Why did she have to care about how Feng Chen Yu felt? The little girl had thoroughly thought this through then happily smiled: “Xiang Rong will do as second sister says.”
“This is the right decision.” Feng Yu Heng
Yu Heng pinched Xiang Rong’s cheeks then pointed at a carriage ahead of them: “That’s the one.”
Xiang Rong stared with wide eyes at the carriage. She saw that the carriage was made using a type of red and yellow wood. She could not remember the name of the wood, but no matter how she looked at it, it looked much better than Feng Chen Yu’s former carriage. This was without mentioning the wooden carvings at the top of the carriage, which were made using who knows what material, and the curtains made of smokey silk gauze.
“The carriage is made of yellow rosewood. The sculptures on top are made of the most expensive type of agarwood.” Feng Yu Heng gave Xiang Rong an explanation, “The smokey silk gauze is something you recognize. Come, get in the carriage first. There is still another nice thing in the carriage.”
The two arrived before the carriage, and a palace servant put down a step stool. Feng Yu Heng entered the carriage first then reached out to help pull Xiang Rong in. Xiang Rong lifted the curtain and entered the carriage. She immediately saw the incredibly large night-luminescent pearl on the ceiling and a crystal table with a set of crystal tea cups. She was immediately stunned by the shock.
For a long time, the little girl was unable to say a single word. Standing there stunned, she did not even know when Feng Yu Heng had managed to pour herself a cup of tea and begin drinking.
“Sit, the driver will be setting out soon.” She spoke up to remind her. Only then did Xiang Rong recover mentally.
Just as she sat down, the driver set the carriage in motion. Two prized horses pulled the carriage together, running quickly and steadily.
“The horses were tamed by the ninth prince in the Northwest. The day I returned to the capital, he also happened to be returning to court. He brought some back, but I did not think that I would get to take advantage of it today.”
Xiang Rong picked up a cup of tea and suddenly filled her mouth with tea. She then carefully tasted it. Un, it seemed that there was not too much difference in the taste. But, this was indeed her first time drinking tea from a cup made of crystal. She was a little nervous, as she worried that she might slip and break the cup.
Feng Yu Heng watched this girl and found it funny, deliberately teasing her: “In the future, if you find an ideal husband, the amount of nice things definitely won’t be fewer than what I have.”
“Second sister only knows how to tease Xiang Rong.” The little girl’s face turned red, as she turned her head away, not wanting to look at her.
Feng Yu Heng, however, blinked and asked: “I don’t know about the clothes I requested seventh brother send you, but did you receive them?”
“Oh!” Xiang Rong was stunned, “The clothes really were sent by second sister?”
Feng Yu Heng smiled, “This expression of yours, is it joy or disappointment?”
Xiang Rong’s face turned red once more from her words. from her words. Covering her mouth, she did not know how she should respond.
Feng Yu Heng did not trouble her too much and said: “It was indeed me that told seventh brother to help prepare a set of Winter clothes for you to enter the palace in, but it was just this one request. Everything from the fabric to the appearance was decided upon by seventh brother. Thus, correctly speaking, I only mentioned that I wanted to give you a set of clothing. The person who truly gifted them was seventh brother.”
Xiang Rong’s small cheeks were so red that blood almost seeped out of them. She quickly brought her hands up to cover them. With a bashful face, she no longer wanted to talk.
Feng Yu Heng only gently laughed but did not speak. In this world, there were many matters in a relationship that could not be considered. she had not intention of setting any one person up with another, but she still hoped that the people she cared about would have a good home.
The Feng manor finally arrived. Feng Jin Yuan’s carriage traveled a little faster and returned a bit before the others. In board strokes, he told the people in the manor about the happenings of the banquet. When the sisters exited their carriages, they saw that everyone in the Feng family was standing in the yard aside from the matriarch, who was stuck in bed.
Feng Jin Yuan stood at the very front with Yao shi at his side. An shi, Han shi, as well as Jin Zhen stood behind them. Adding on all of the servants and the matriarch’s personal servant granny Zhao, it felt very lively.
However, not a trace of happiness could be found on Yao shi’s face. She simply stood there with an expressionless face. Although she was full of vigor, it was devoid of any human emotion.
Han shi’s breathing was not very stable. It was clear that she had already been angered to the point of snapping. Also, she had held out hope that Feng Chen Yu had ruined her, so that Fen Dai could begin to show some prospects within the Feng family, but before this dream could begin in earnest, Feng Jin Yuan actually told her that the Emperor returned Yao shi to the position of head wife. This had ruined all of her hopes.
Unlike Han shi, An shi and Jin Zhen had happy looks on their faces. Seeing Feng Yu Heng and Xiang Rong enter first, they felt their hearts eased.
When Jin Zhen saw Feng Yu Heng, she nearly began crying. She had passed the days living anxiously, as she defended against Feng Chen Yu causing her trouble every day. Night after night, she could not sleep. Those sorts of troublesome days had finally come to an end!
Feng Yu Heng raised her head and looked around. Eventually, her gaze landed on Yao shi.
The gazes of mother and daughter met, and tears immediately welled up in Yao shi’s eyes. Feng Yu Heng quickly took a couple steps forward and knelt before Yao shi, saying loudly “A-Heng greets… mother!”