Who Touched my Man Tou?1
Two days later, Tong Sheng pavilion was renamed to “Ji An County Main Office” and its main gate was opened. The small gate connected to the Feng manor was made even smaller by Feng Yu Heng.
Despite Feng Jin Yuan’s best efforts to suppress the news, it did not take three days for word of his divorce from Yao shi became known throughout the capital. The storytellers in the tea houses just left out the name and spoke about his Feng manor. Even the beggars at the side of the road could say a few things about the divorce.
Another story that was advancing alongside “the prime minister’s divorce” story was Bu Cong’s disappearance.
“Apparently, Lord Bu Bai Qi has gone East in search of Bu Cong, but the Bu family received a report from the post office saying that he still had not been found.” Wang Chuan brushed Feng Yu Heng’s hair while telling her about the things she had heard over the past couple days.
Feng Yu Heng did not understand: “Why has Lord Bu gone searching in the East?”
Wang Chuan said: “Because Bu Cong is the general in charge of the Eastern border. If he were to leave, he should have gone East.”
Feng Yu Heng did not think this way: “First of all, he needs to understand why he had to leave. He also needs to consider where he was last seen.”
This was something Wang Chuan knew very well, “Last time he was seen was on while returning from Feng Tong county. He shot at all of the Feng family’s carriages and argued with Prime minister Feng. He then took a piece of white cloth and said he was sending young miss off.”
Feng Yu Heng helplessly said: “Well there it is. Since there is such a reason, he definitely could not have gone towards the military camp in the East. Bu Cong is not stupid. Although you and I understand, the Feng family uses the status as officials as armor. If Bu Cong wants to deal with the Feng family, there is absolutely no need to fetch an army from the Eastern border. But if we think this way, it does not mean everyone will think this way. If someone connects the ideas together, that would truly be a fatal disaster for the Bu family.”
“Young miss means to say Bu Cong is still in the direction of Feng Tong county?”
“He should have gone in that direction, but it should not be to find me.” She fiddled with her bell-shaped earrings then began trying to figure Bu Cong out.
Wang Chuan did not ask further, instead she began thinking for herself. After a short while, she let out an “Oh!” sound then spoke: “Could it be that he has some other objective? Searching for the young miss is just a diversion?”
Feng Yu Heng nodded, “That should be the case. But this can not be pinned on him so simply. Based on what you said about the situation from that
day, his desire to look for me should be real, but at the same time, he should have something even more important to do. And that matter is very likely something that must not be known by others.”
“Then Lord Bu going to search for him in the East should also just be for outsiders to see.” Wang Chuan took care of a few final loose hairs then patted her shoulder: “I’m done with your hair. Young miss, take a look and see if you are satisfied.”
Feng Yu Heng had never been one to care too much for the appearance of her hair. As she once said, it’s best to just casually tie it up in the back; however, Wang Chuan continued to style her hair every day properly. She would even change the appearance quite often, which put Feng Yu Heng in a good mood.
“The Bu family has always thought of itself as clever and regarded everyone else as stupid.” She gestured alright to Wang Chuan, which she did not understand, and continued to speak about Bu Cong, “Although this sort of ploy can trick the majority of people, for the clever old foxes, there is no point to it. I trust that aside from us, the Emperor and Xuan Tian Ming have also guessed this point, but they simply want to give Bu Cong some more time in order to see what his true objective is.”
While the two spoke, Qing Shuang walked in. This servant had come to Tong Sheng pavilion before they went to Feng Tong county. She had been kept here the entire time by Feng Yu Heng. She had done a very good job of tidying up the courtyard.
“Young miss, there are some congratulatory gifts that were brought in. The list of gifts has already been written down. Please come take a look.” Qing Shuang handed a list to Feng Yu Heng then backed up a couple steps and respectfully stood to the side.
Ever since Tong Sheng pavilion had become the county office and had its gates opened, there was a never ending flow of people who came to congratulate her. On the first day, it was practically just the imperial palace that came to congratulate her. An endless amount of nice things arrived from representatives of the Emperor and the Empress, imperial concubine Yun and various imperial concubines. For the large gifts, there were all kinds of furniture. For the small gifts, there were all kinds of accessories. There was also fabrics and clothing. On the second day, it was the representatives of the princes, lords, imperial daughters and other important figures. Once again, the there were all kinds of things. On the third day,the officials and females of their manors had come to express their goodwill. Although the things they sent were not considered valuable, they were still nice things. Now that they were on the fourth day, the people who had come to send gifts were from the families of fourth rank officials and
and lower. The quality of the gifts had also dropped a level, after all, they were limited by their ranks. They truly could not give out any great gifts.
On the previous three days, Feng Yu Heng had personally received the gifts, which had caused her to be exceedingly exhausted. Today, Qing Shuang had made a decision and did not call for her. Instead, she kept a list of gifts and handed it over. The people who had come to send gifts also knew that their ranks were low, so they were not worthy of being personally received by the dignified county princess. Being able to give the gift was already rare enough. They even awarded Qing Shuang with plenty of nice things.
Feng Yu Heng gave the list a rough glance and felt there was not much of a problem, so she gave it back to Qing Shuang. She then told her: “Starting today, take a portion of the gifts that come after today so that it can be awarded to the servants of this manor. As for what will be awarded, base it on their age and preferences. Or let them choose it for themselves. Just keep a record. When Qing Yu returns, report to her as well.”
Qing Shuang quickly thanked her for the grace then shook her head and said: “Young miss, there is no need to take from the gifts. This servant has already received many great things today. Every single one of the things the madams and young misses gave was great. This servant does not dare enjoy them alone and was going to mention it to young miss to have young miss help split it up between us servants.”
Feng Yu Heng was very satisfied with how understanding Qing Shuang was, but she could not accept these things. This was part of the rules of being a master.
“Since they were awarded to you, take care of them. There is no need to worry about having too many nice things. Either way, there will come a day when you will need to marry. Just treat it as saving up a dowry for yourself. The items that will be awarded will be taken from the gifts that were sent. You will also have a portion.”
Qing Shuang felt a surge of emotion. Feng Yu Heng was both generous and kind. This was something she had never thought possible before being selected by Qing Yu to enter the manor.
She immediately knelt and kowtowed to Feng Yu Heng: “This servant thanks young miss for the great grace.”
“You may get up. There are not many rules here. You were selected by Qing Yu, so I trust you.” With these words, not only had she won over Qing Shuang’s heart, she gave Qing Yu a sufficient amount of affirmation. These servants would, in the end, be managed by Qing Yu. She knew that she had to increase Qing Yu’s prestige. Only like this could she have peace of mind.
After Qing Shuang thanked her, she left to
left to split up the award. Only Feng Yu Heng and Wang Chuan were left in the room. Suddenly, the open door slammed shut on its own. Feng Yu Heng was given a shock but immediately realized what had happened. Helpless, she said: “Ban Zou! Next time you make an appearance, can you be a little more creative?”
Wang Chuan was also speechless. What was he doing, playing acting around as a ghost in the middle of the day.
A blur appeared before their eyes and Ban Zou appeared.
“It’s already cold enough in Winter from leaving the door open. Is it not good that I helped you close the door?” This guy rolled his eyes with an expressionless face. He then very quickly changed to a grim expression and said to Feng Yu Heng: “The cat died.”
“What?” Feng Yu Heng stood up immediately upon hearing this, “Man Tou?”1That day after the banquet, the Emperor insisted on keeping the cat, saying that he wanted to borrow it and raise it for a ew days. At the time, she thought the Emperor definitely wanted to make use of that cat to improve relations with imperial concubine Yun, so she agreed. Who could have foreseen that in just a few days, the cat would actually die?
“Master, please restrain your grief.” Ban Zou saw Feng Yu Heng’s expression and truly did not know what he should say. After holding it in for a long time, those were the words he came up with.
Wang Chuan angrily stomped, “Restrain what grief. Quickly tell us, how did it die?”
“Apparently, it suddenly went crazy after the banquet. Not only did it rush around everywhere, it even threw itself to the ground and headbutted pillars. In the beginning, the Emperor thought it was not accustomed to being with him, so he found some of imperial concubine Yun’s old things for it to play with; however, that cat bit people whenever it saw them. The servants of the palace did not dare allow the Emperor to get close, but they also did not dare hit the cat. They could only find a cage to put it in. The Emperor did not allow us to tell you or imperial concubine Yun, as he feared that you would carry the cat away. Who knew that in just a few days, the cat would actually die.”
Feng Yu Heng felt an unhappiness in her heart. That cat was very cute, and it connected extremely well with her emotions. When she held that cat, she was unwilling to let it go. She had originally thought that the Emperor would play with it for ten days before returning it to her. She had even allowed Qing Ling and some other servants make it some small clothes. They had even made three cat litters. Who could have thought that they would actually hear this sort of bad news.
“Man Tou could not have gone crazy without a reason. I definitely do not believe it!” Feng Yu Heng felt a wave of anger surge of anger surge from the bottom of her heart. Damn it, there were already plenty of people taking aim at her, now they took aim at her cat? “What of the corpse?” She asked Ban Zou, “Where is the corpse?”
“It’s still in the palace, but his Highness the seventh prince said that if master wants, he can send it here.”
“I want it! Of course I want it!” Feng Yu Heng’s eyes squinted into a thin crease, “I must ask Man Tou, who exactly poison it.”
Ban Zou nodded, “Then master, just wait in the manor. Do not go outside. I will go and bring it back.” In a flash, he disappeared.
Wang Chuan helped Feng Yu Heng back into her seat. The fire continued to burn in the brazier, but it could not bring even the slightest bit of warmth.
“Young miss believes that someone took some sort of action?”
Feng Yu Heng shook her head, “There was basically no opportunity.” She rapidly recalled everything that happened from the moment she received the cat to when she handed it over to the Emperor. Ordinarily, there should not have been anything that could have happened after it reached the Emperor’s hands. After all, nobody had that much courage and that much ability to do anything there. Then that meant it happened before that.
But no matter how she thought about it, she did not believe there was any time Man Tou get close to others. Thinking long and hard, the only clue was when it had bitten off Bu Ni Shang’s finger. In only that one instant was it not in her control.
“Finger…” She subconsciously muttered. It seemed that she had grasped something. She began to have some vague speculation, but she had to go a step further for confirmation.
“Young miss, what did you say?” Wang Chuan did not understand what she had said.
Feng Yu Heng told her: “The night of the banquet, Man Tou bit off Bu Ni Shang’s finger. If I have not guessed incorrectly, the problem should reside there.” It seemed that she would need to perform tests on Man Tou.
Ban Zou returned after Feng Yu Heng finished eating lunch. He did not appear, but his voice could be heard in the air: “His Highness brought the cat.” After that, a servant from the gate reported: “His Highness Prince Chun has come to see young miss.”
“Quickly invite him in!” Feng Yu Heng quickly stood up to personally welcome him.
When she reached the front yard, she saw Xuan Tian Hua in a pale blue robe, as he walked in holding a wooden box. She quickly walked forward with her brows furrowed and stared at the box.
She then heard Xuan Tian Hua gently say to her: “If you can reach a conclusion on this matter, perhaps the Bu family’s demise will quickly arrive.”
1: The author admits to a typo on this one. She’s changed it from Bao Zi to Man Tou. Granted, both are steamed buns, but bao zi has filling, while man tou does not.